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Ponsonby cafes urged: check outdoor dining licence

Ponsonby cafes urged to check their outdoor dining licences

Auckland City is reminding Ponsonby café owners to check the conditions of their outdoor dining licences, after a number of complaints from members of the public about pedestrian access on footpaths.

Jackie Wilkinson, Auckland City's service requests manager, says while the majority of premises meet the conditions of their licences, a few cafes are causing problems for pedestrians.

"We're only talking about a handful of cafes in the area that are not following their licence conditions. But they cause a range of problems for pedestrians, pushchairs and wheelchair users. Cars entering these busy roads from side streets are having their vision obscured by tables near the kerb and that's another worry."

"Auckland City understands the importance of outdoor dining, both to businesses and for the ambience of the area as a whole, however we need to balance this with ensuring the footpaths are clear for pedestrians," she says. "We ask that all premises with outdoor dining licences check their conditions and ensure that all tables, chairs and other items are in the correct places."

Notices requiring the relocation of tables, chairs and other items blocking the footpath were sent to several cafes on Ponsonby and Jervois Roads last week. These cafes were breaching the conditions of outdoor dining licences granted by the council.

Under the bylaw, cafes must ensure that that there is 2 metres of clear space on the footpath. Tables and chairs must also only be located on the shop side of the footpath, not on the kerbside.

"Tables placed immediately next to the kerb pose a safety risk to diners due to their closeness to traffic, as well as blocking access to the footpath for people trying to get out of parked cars or when crossing the road", says Ms Wilkinson.

Under the Local Government Act 2002, Auckland City is required to review its 29 bylaws by 2008 to ensure they are keeping pace with the city's needs as it grows. During this period, the street trading bylaw will be reviewed and members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on it.

Ends

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