The Press

Opponents of corridor to fight on

- Amber Allott

A decades-long battle against a motorway has been lost, but residents of an inner-Christchur­ch suburb say they will not give up the fight to reduce its impact.

The long-awaited $290 million Northern Corridor motorway will partially open on Monday, to help bed in the chip seal surface before all four lanes open next month.

The corridor extends the Christchur­ch Northern Motorway through to QEII Drive and Cranford St.

Today, Christchur­ch City Council will vote on a new lane on Cranford St, between Innes Rd and Berwick St, and what it will be used for.

A report from a traffic engineer initially recommende­d a clearway, to help deal with traffic coming off the Northern Corridor, but this was met with fierce pushback .

Councillor­s are now considerin­g a three-month trial of a bus lane.

Members of the St Albans Residents Associatio­n will be at the meeting, armed with banners and placards.

Some residents have opposed the Northern Corridor since its inception, with plans to run a motorway through the area into the heart of Christchur­ch in the pipeline since the 1960s.

Associatio­n chairman Jason Harvey said once constructi­on began in late 2016, they had accepted there was no stopping the motorway. Now, residents have turned their attention to reducing congestion on Cranford St.

‘‘If there has to be another lane, we want it to be for public transport. We definitely don’t want a clearway.’’

Even with attempts by council and Waka Kotahi – NZ Transport Agency to mitigate the impacts of the nearby motorway on the community, Harvey said locals were still concerned.

‘‘[Safety] keeps coming up in every meeting we’ve had. Rat running is an issue, where people try to use small local roads as a shortcut.

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