No more barriers in busy Golden Mile
Controversial pedestrian-safety barriers have been removed from Wellington's Willis St.
The semi-permanent barriers were installed in a stretch of the street between Manners and Mercer streets after NZ Bus director Tim Brown was hit by a bus in July.
The accident prompted Wellington Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon to order the barriers be erected. However, the barriers were not popular with nearby retailers, who felt they were stifling business. In October, some business owners got together and moved some of the barriers.
Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said yesterday the barriers were removed by contractors over the course of 24 hours, and six new wooden benches had been installed in Willis St, between Bond and Manners streets. "It was the intention to take them down after the extra ‘street furniture' was installed," he said.
Kate Breeze, manager of fashion store Robyn Mathieson, was pleased the barriers had been removed. "They were definitely having an effect on business. People weren't able to easily cross to this side of the street. There will be a lot of happy retailers around."
However, she understood the need to improve pedestrian safety in Wellington's city centre. "It's just a matter of finding the right way forward."
The Dominion Post