Christchurch marathon route to be changed
The Christchurch marathon route is being changed after a record number of objections from businesses and residents.
Event director Guy Steven told press.co.nz today that after complaints, some changes were being made.
A new route map was being prepared and he hoped it would be published on the marathon website today.
The original route would have forced several roads around Christchurch International Airport to close for the Christchurch Airport Marathon on June 3.
The annual marathon was held in Lincoln last year after the earthquakes forced it out of the city centre, but this year the organisers changed to a route around the airport.
The city council's road closures subcommittee approved the closures this week but said it was "extremely concerned" about the lack of public consultation by the organisers.
The 15 objections to the proposed closures was the highest number the council had received for any recent application, while the new marathon route had been promoted "well in advance" of the formal closure process.
Council staff had been forced to work with organisers and businesses to develop a compromise that satisfied most objectors.
The subcommittee said the council needed to review its road closures application process to ensure the problems did not happen again.
McLeans Island Golf Club manager Peter Bentley said the club was "reasonably comfortable" with the compromise, but believed it should have been informed about the route before the application was made.
"It was all done and dusted, seemingly before consultation had taken place. Our concern was that if it could happen this time, it could happen numerous other times for whatever reason," he said.
Orana Wildlife Park chief executive Lynn Anderson said the closures would have a significant impact on visitor numbers at the park, which was already in "severe pain" because of the earthquakes and last year's snowfall.
The park would do a "full post-mortem" after the marathon to determine how it had been affected by the closures, she said.
Race director Chris Cox said the organisers had worked with a traffic management company to plan the closures.
Businesses around the airport had been consulted about the route, but organisers ran out of time to speak to those in the McLeans Island area.
The organisers should have worked harder to ensure that the businesses were aware of the closures, he said.
"We thought at the time that the impact in the area would be minimal and they'd hardly know we were there. In hindsight, we were wrong, we would accept that."
The marathon organisers would work closely with businesses before the event to ensure any problems were addressed, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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