Nowhere for cricket fans to park

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 26/07/2014

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Fans crowding into Hagley Oval for Cricket World Cup matches will struggle to find car parks nearby and are likely to create trouble on the surrounding roads, authorities admit.

Three World Cup cricket matches are scheduled at Hagley Oval next February with each potentially attracting crowds of about 20,000 people.

The first two matches are weekend games, but the third is scheduled to be played on a weekday, when on-street parking around the Oval is already at a premium because of people accessing Christchurch Hospital and other nearby businesses.

Christchurch City Council chief operating officer Jane Parfitt has told councillors there was likely to be insufficient parking capacity within two kilometres of the oval for weekday matches that are played before 5.30pm and the shortage is likely to lead to "significant adverse traffic-related effects".

Vbase is managing the preparations for the Cricket World Cup for the council. Events logistics manager Peter Maddock said it was well aware of the parking issues around the Oval and the potential traffic problems that could arise.

Meetings were being held with all the relevant agencies to discuss how to tackle the problems and a traffic management plan was being commissioned.

Maddock said talks were being held with Environment Canterbury and local bus firms about options for a park and ride scheme and consideration was also being given to creating a pedestrian "road" similar to the one that had been planned for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

That road, if Christchurch's Rugby World Cup matches had gone ahead, would have taken fans along a 2km pedestrian route from the central city to the former AMI Stadium.

Maddock said they were looking at whether there was somewhere within walking distance of the oval where a large number of cars could be accommodated that could be linked to Hagley Oval by a themed pedestrian road.

"We're doing a lot of work to make sure things run as smoothly as possible."

Christchurch Hospital did not oppose the development of Hagley Oval as a venue for international cricket but during last year's Environment Court hearing it did raise serious concerns about the impact it would have on traffic in the area.

Parking around the hospital is stretched to the limit and it is not uncommon for patients to turn up late or to miss appointments because they cannot find a carpark.

The parking shortage is set to worsen in the next few weeks as the hospital's redevelopment begins and the 130-space car park next to Christchurch Hospital becomes a construction zone.

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- The Press

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