Woolston Village revamp plan gets big tick

The Christchurch City Council wants to know what the public think of its plans to make Woolston Village more pedestrian ...

The Christchurch City Council wants to know what the public think of its plans to make Woolston Village more pedestrian friendly.

Woolston business owners are welcoming plans to revitalise the area, but some are concerned about losing 72 per cent of on-street car parks.

The Christchurch City Council on Wednesday released a proposal to make Woolston Village, which straddles Ferry Rd, more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly.

It planned to introduce a 30kmh speed zone through the village, reduce the number of car parks on Ferry Rd from 77 to 21 while encouraging motorists to park on side streets, install extra crossing points and a paved median strip, remove 16 trees and plant 35 new trees, upgrade seating, bins, cycle stands and lighting. 

The work is expected to cost $1.6 million, but this could change depending on public feedback. 

 Twisted Hop pub owner Stephen Hardman said he believed the plans would transform Woolston's retail space and encourage a lot more foot traffic.

"To create a safer more pedestrian friendly environment, I think in the long term, has got to be better for this area."

Hardman, who has recently resurrected the Woolston Main Street Business Association, said some businesses could be upset about the loss of car parks, but provisions would be made for parking on side streets.

"I'm trying to encourage what they are trying to do."

Around Again Cycles owner Leroy Kremers​ said he supported the 30kmh limit and improved cycleways, but was not happy about losing so many car parks.

"It's a little bit less convenient. It doesn't get my vote."

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Kremers said people liked to park outside shops and did not like to walk too far.

"Otherwise people are just going to go to the malls and utilise that convenience."

The council's plans showed parking would be retained outside the pharmacy and neighbouring dairy.

Council urban regeneration team leader Carolyn Bonis said the plan for Woolston Village aimed to deliver on the wishes of the community and create a vibrant public space. 

"Woolston has a unique heritage and character, which is emphasised in the upgrade proposals."

A council survey of 204 shoppers in Woolston Village found 76 per cent of walkers visited the shopping area two to three times a week, as did 75 per cent of cyclists and 67 per cent of bus users. This was compared to 52 per cent of drivers and 38 per cent of car passengers.

The survey also found 75 per cent of people stayed in the village less than 30 minutes.

People driving cars said parking was important but 60 per cent had no preference between on-street and off-street parking.

The council proposal is open to public consultation until June 8. 

 - Stuff


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