Cup road threat to villas
DETAILED plans have finally been revealed for a controversial new road giving rugby fans easier access to Eden Park.
Residents can have a say this month on Auckland City Council’s plan for streets surrounding the stadium in preparation for the Rugby World Cup.
The preferred plan includes removing houses to make way for a new road for pedestrians and one-way vehicles between Sandringham Rd and Walters Rd.
The plan has sparked criticism from some politicians who object to moving or demolishing old homes for the link.
“The lane is going to take out probably four villas that are part of the charm of the area,” says councillor Glenda Fryer.
“I think they should look at the cheaper option of closing Sandringham Rd to vehicles for two hours before the match.
“That would solve the problem without costing millions of dollars of ratepayer money.”
At Thursday’s transport committee meeting councillor Cathy Casey asked for an assurance the houses would be moved but not demolished.
City events group manager Rachael Dacy said that was yet to be determined.
Dr Casey and councillor Leila Boyle also argued for closing the lane to vehicles, though officers support allowing one-way traffic.
But Eden Park Residents Association president Jose Fowler says many neighbours support the new link for both pedestrians and vehicles.
“They see it as a positive to be able to walk to Kingsland without having to go the long way around and cross a busy road.”
He says traffic will keep the lane busier and help to prevent crime.
Eden Park Neighbours Association president Mark Donnelly, also an Auckland city councillor, opposes the plans.
“The proposals are also another attack on the heritage of the area with the removal and rezoning of several old houses,” he says.
He says closing Sandringham Rd to vehicles on game days would be a better solution.
The officer’s report says problems with crowd capacity between the park and railway station were highlighted by police after the August Bledisloe Cup game.
It says “serious and urgent” work needs to be done
to ensure future events are not blighted because of poor infrastructure.
The preferred option is estimated to cost $18 million, but the council is hoping for around $7.5m from the sale of surplus land and a subsidy from the NZTA.
Transport committee chairman Ken Baguley says most of the work will have ongoing benefit for the community.
Adding bus lanes and upgrading the Walters Rd-Sandringham Rd intersection will improve transport “all day, every day”.
“The slip road will clearly benefit Eden Park, but there’s also a view that it will improve access to Kowhai Intermediate,” he says.
Letters were to be sent to local residents and businesses on Monday.
Meetings with affected parties will be held on October 16 and 31, and public open days are scheduled for October 15 and 18.
Submissions close on Tuesday, November 4.
Road revamp: Auckland City Council’s preferred option for Sandringham Rd.