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Car transporters have been thrown a lifeline by Auckland Transport, which plans to provide four new loading zones on a busy arterial road in attempt to put an end to illegal parking.
The organisation has been unable to clamp down on car transporters, which currently load and offload vehicles into oncoming traffic while parked on the roadside and flush medians of Great North Rd in Grey Lynn.
Tickets and fines have not been effective in deterring the illegal parking.
Auckland Transport is proposing to fix the issue as part of its recently announced Great North Rd improvements, which aim to make a section of the road between Crummer and Ponsonby roads “safer for all road users, especially people walking and on bikes”.
The project, estimated to cost between $15 and $19 million, will see four new loading bays suitable for car transporters.
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A group of downtown Auckland businesses have lost their bid to temporarily halt work on a planned upgrade of Queen Street, due to begin on Monday.
In a statement, Save the Queen Street said it was disappointed an interim injunction to delay work was unsuccessful, but said members would continue to prepare for a more substantive court hearing, aimed at pushing back against the redevelopment plans.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff welcomed the court’s decision, saying the redesign would make Queen St more people-friendly and accessible.
The council intends to improve pedestrian spaces between Shortland and Customs streets, limit traffic to a single lane each way with bus priority in the evening peak, with work scheduled for the next six weeks.
Save Queen Street, which includes commercial landlords and retailers, argued that ongoing trials of new arrangement could run for years, damaging commerce in an already struggling strip.
“The current arrangement of the street has caused economic harm – business are up against it,” their lawyer Sam Lowery told Wednesday’s injunction hearing.
The council’s lawyer Padraig McNamara said given Save Queen Street wanted to stop the improvements to the 2020 temporary arrangement of plastic sticks and concrete blocks, its injunction bid was “counter-intuitive”.
Businesses have been hit by the absence of foreign tourists and overseas students, and from more office staff working from home, the court heard.
Lowery told the High Court foot traffic was down 40 per cent or more, 90 of 345 retail shopfronts are empty, and part of the problem is the council’s treatment of the street over the past year.
In a statement released after the court decision on Thursday, Goff said the council would continue to work with all stakeholders to progress improvements to Queen St.
While the court decision means work can begin as planned on May 10, Save Queen Street has put forward 10 further challenges that will be heard at a substantive court hearing. A date for that hearing has not yet been set.
The redevelopment will see pavements widened with high-quality decking, new street furniture and vibrant green spaces with native planting and a new pocket park.
What do you think of the redevelopment plans for Queen St?
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