Tay, Dee may not be single-laned

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 21/05/2014

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Reducing Dee and Tay streets to one lane each way may not happen, the Invercargill inner-city upgrade boss says.

At the Invercargill City Council infrastructure and services committee meeting this week, a letter from a city retailer was debated after he detailed how much negativity there was towards the move.

The Lollie Shop owner Neil Thomas said he was planning a meeting after it was reported that inner-city upgrade boss Graham Sycamore said the trial to reduce lanes would go ahead next year.

"Every day since then, I have had people ringing and calling into my shop to see my next step to oppose this."

But Sycamore said there was a lot to be done before the reducing of the lanes was even considered.

"At the moment the focus is on Esk St and then we will move on from there to Kelvin [St]."

It was only a concept and there would be more consideration and consultation on the proposal next year, he said.

"There is just as much chance that the pillars [in Dee St] won't be removed and the one-laning won't happen than they will."

He said it was one of many suggestions from consultants but that did not mean it had to happen. "These guys aren't always right."

Councillor Ian Pottinger said the council should consider what the inner city would look like in the future before undertaking the changes.

Retail was changing and the two streets were not used like they once were, he said.

But Sycamore said it would be hard to predict the future of retail and the inner-city upgrade master plan encompassed the entire CBD area.

"It would be a brave man or woman to predict how many retail shops you may have in that time."

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt said the council should probably be grateful the city did not have a mall because it could be the death of the CBD.

Debate also surrounded the possible removal of the pillars on Dee St opposite Esk St.

In the inner-city upgrade plan, that area was signalled to be used as a turning place for cars to cut across Dee St and turn into Esk St.

Councillor Peter Kett said the pillars were a $650,000 donation from the Community Trust of Southland, were in many photos of the city and should not be taken away.

Council committee chairman Lindsay Thomas suggested the council use them at Rugby Park.

"They could end up being permanent rugby posts down at Rugby Park."

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