Cycleway plan bothers businesses
A proposed downtown Auckland cycleway may strip Viaduct restaurants of a delivery lifeline.
Judith Tabron, owner of popular Viaduct restaurant Soul Bar and Bistro said she was distressed about the proposed removal of a key delivery loading zone, that may be replaced with a cycleway on Lower Hobson St.
Auckland Transport (AT) has plans to redesign the Lower Hobson St layout as part of a wider plan to complete the city centre cycling loop, connecting existing city cycleways onto Quay St and Grafton Rd.
The removal of the Lower Hobson St loading zone, that services Viaduct restaurants, is part of the proposed plan.
Tabron said the loading zone relocation would ‘‘severely damage’’ the viability of Viaduct businesses, including her own.
She said she wanted to make sure Viaduct businesses were able to ‘‘have a real say’’ in the redesign of streets in the area.
Every month Soul Bar had about 1000 deliveries or service people entering the premises from the current loading zone - equating to 32 deliveries per day, she said.
‘‘Without the loading zone in it’s current position, our business would be disadvantaged,’’ she said.
‘‘There are many other businesses who also have hourly deliveries being made who use this loading zone - and to relocate it somewhere else is not realistic,’’ she said.
Auckland Transport walking, cycling and road safety manager Kathryn King said the plans were still in draft form while initial consultation was underway.
As part of the initial consultation AT would consider the impact on existing facilities, including parking, taxis, loading zones and traffic lanes.
King said AT would only go out to the wider public for consultation once key users’ views had been taken into account.
Auckland Transport wanted to ensure a solution was reached that worked for everyone, she said.
‘‘We don’t want to end up in the situation where people cannot run their businesses - they provide a vital and important contribution of our city.
‘‘We want to ensure we have a road network that enables people to get to these businesses whether it is in a vehicle or on a bike or walking,’’ King said
Soul Bar and Bistro owner Judith Tabron says the loading zone needs to stay.