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Council to consult on Courtenay Place proposals

NEWS RELEASE 13 June 2008

Council to consult on Courtenay Place proposals

Wellington City Council's Strategy and Policy Committee yesterday agreed to seek public feedback on a range of options to make it easier and faster for buses to get through Courtenay Place, as well as other changes to improve the way the area operates at night.

The proposals include five possible options to remove through traffic from Courtenay Place, four that would involve the whole road from Taranaki Street to Cambridge Terrace and one that would ban through traffic from the Tory Street intersection to Cambridge Terrace during peak times (7-9pm and 4-6pm) only.

The options that would affect the whole of Courtenay Place propose a range of different times - from 6am to 6pm; during morning and evening peak times (7-9am and 4-6pm); or during the evening peak (4-6pm) only. Three of the five options propose banning general traffic during peak times while the other two would allow people wanting to go to shops or businesses in Courtenay Place to enter the street and park.

Under all of the proposals, taxis, service and emergency vehicles and cyclists would be able to use the road as they do at the moment.

The Council will also consult on proposals to reduce the speed limit on Courtenay Place to 30km/h; develop bus lanes on Cambridge Terrace and Taranaki Street and provide an orderly queuing system for night time taxis using the slip-lane at the Embassy end of the street. The slip-lane would continue to provide two-hour parking during the day.

It is also proposed that some on-street car parks outside busy night spots would be altered so that they could double as daytime parking and provide additional space for queuing or outdoor tables and chairs at night.

The Council's Urban Development and Transport Portfolio Leader, Councillor Andy Foster, says the Council has made a commitment to enhanced public transport and consulting on bus priority measures for Courtenay Place is an significant step forward.

"Over the next few months we will be outlining the proposals in detail, talking with shops and businesses in the area about how they think the changes would affect them, and surveying their customers and clients to see how they actually travel to the area," he says. "I expect there will be a wide range of views from people who use the area and travel through it, as well as from those who operate shops and businesses.

"We want to gather more information and hear what Wellingtonians think of the options before we make a final decision later in the year."

Cr Foster says giving buses priority along the Golden Mile is critical to the Regional Land Transport Strategy aim to increase bus patronage and part of the draft Ngauranga to the Airport Corridor Plan, which will be available for feedback from next week. It is also an important component of the City Council's urban development and transport strategies and Courtenay Place project.

"Courtenay Place is a major terminal and route on the Golden Mile and one of a number of congestion points for buses," he says. "The more sophisticated ticketing system due to be introduced next month and new buses will help make public transport a more attractive option but we must also do more to ensure buses can get through the city smoothly, quickly and reliably. We received more than 4600 submissions during the second stage of the Ngauranga to the Airport study and the vast majority - including those from sustainable transport and business groups - supported bus priority measures."

People using the pedestrian crossings on Courtenay Place also cause bus delays at peak times and the Council will be looking at the possibility of installing signals and what more can be done to synchronise traffic lights along the Golden Mile.

ENDS

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