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Lichfield-Tuam swap - next step considered


Lichfield-Tuam swap – City Council to consider next step

Working with interested groups to further develop the Lichfield-Tuam Street swap proposal will be considered next week by a Christchurch City Council standing committee.

The Council’s Sustainable Transport and Utilities (STU) Committee meets on 5 November. A staff report on the street swap scheme asks that Councillors allow them to keep working on the plan and set up a working party with interested groups and people to try to find ways of dealing with their concerns about the scheme.

As part of a 10-week consultation about the swap scheme, more than 25 meetings were held with interest groups, property owners and business operators. As well, more than 700 people and groups wrote in to say what they think of the scheme. Of those, just under 80 per cent are against the proposed option put forward by the Council for consultation.

About 17 per cent either agree or strongly agree with it. The people who say they like the idea are more likely to either live in the inner city or be public-transport users or cyclists.

The main concerns of those opposed to the proposed option say that a one-way Tuam Street will hurt businesses there and on High Street or that the scheme will confuse drivers and so discourage them from coming into the city for shopping and recreation.

The STU Committee staff report says Lichfield Street is key to dealing with future central-city traffic jams and assisting a smooth and efficient public transport system. The report recommends continuing work on the scheme, and working with interested groups to look at ways of addressing the issues and concerns raised during consultation.

“The challenge is to find a way forward that will allow for through routing of buses, and hence reduce bus movements in the city, without creating confusion for motorists and being too disruptive to business,” it says.

Background

The Lichfield/Tuam proposal – moving the eastbound arterial road to Tuam Street and making Lichfield Street a two-way local road -- grew out of the City Council central city revitalisation strategy.

The thinking is that it would have advantages for the city, with reduced congestion in the inner city core, benefits for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, and would lead to amenity improvements along the Avon River.


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