Cup road threat to vil­las

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Heather McCracken

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.

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