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Call to ban all non-vehicle bridge crossings!

4th February 2004

Call to ban all non-vehicle bridge crossings!

North Shore City Councillor Gary Holmes is calling on Transit New Zealand to place an immediate ban on any further groups wishing to walk, run or march over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Mr. Holmes says that Transits latest refusal to the request from the Defend the Legacy march organisers for permission to cross the bridge is the right decision, but believes that this should be extended to all groups.

After the first ever march over the Bridge in 1975 led by Dame Whina Cooper, authorities said at that time that never again should pedestrians be allowed to march over the bridge. "While there was no damage caused to the bridge in 1975, authorities recognised that there was an unknown "safety" factor and that it would be prudent to prohibit further crossings", Mr. Holmes said.

"I believe Transit is being two-faced to allow the Auckland Marathon runners permission to cross, permit the Hikoi marchers (albeit reluctantly) and then to turn around and give a flat refusal to the "Defend the Legacy" march organisers, who were prepared to meet the same criteria placed on other groups permitted to cross the bridge, stated Mr. Holmes.

"There should simply be a complete ban and the bridge should remain used for its primary purpose which is the safe and efficient passage of motor vehicles and public transport".

ENDS

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