Mt Eden expected to be vehicle-free after April
Banning cars will make Mt Eden safer and more appealing for people struggling with Auckland’s biggest public park shortfall, campaigners and officials say.
A decision was made on Monday to extend a 2011 ban on buses from the summit of Maungawhau.
This time the ban
will include all vehicles. It is expected to come into force after April 2015.
Auckland’s other maunga – such as MaungakiekieOne Tree Hill, Mt Roskill and Mt Wellington – may be covered by the ban in the future.
Friends of Maungawhau chairman Kit Howden is hailing the decision, saying Albert-Eden’s parks are very popular and getting rid of cars will mean more open space for families to enjoy but it’s still not enough.
Albert-Eden has just 2.9ha of open space for every 1000 residents.
As of 2011 just over 100,000 people live in the area, which stretches from Waterview to Greenlane.
Albert-Eden deputy chairwoman Glenda Fryer agrees, saying families are put off Mt Eden because vehicles make it dangerous.
Those who drive up also bring antisocial behaviour, such as drinking, which is disrespectful to the mana of Maungawhau, she says.
Fryer is a member of Tupuna Maunga o Tamaki Makaurau Authority, known also as the Maunga Authority, which made the decision to support the car ban in principle.
Fryer says costs to close the road up the cone and make it more accessible for people will come back to the authority next April.
Cars may be banned from the summit soon after April but she says it depends on all issues around closing the road being resolved.
She says the authority wants the Mt Eden kiosk to be an information centre and cafe and is looking for someone to run it.
In 2011 Auckland Council began a shuttle service up the mountain for people with limited mobility.
A drop off and parking zone was created opposite the kiosk along with a new bus-only road going up the cone.