Christchurch cycleway blamed for near closure of business

Peter Wang has asked the council to reconsider the route for the Papanui Parallel cycleway.
JOSEPH JOHNSON / FAIRFAX NZ

Peter Wang has asked the council to reconsider the route for the Papanui Parallel cycleway.

A Christchurch dairy owner says his livelihood is under threat by a new cycleway.

Work on a two-lane cycleway connecting Northlands to the central city began on Colombo St late last month.

The 4.9-kilometre track faced fierce backlash from residents and business owners along the route, and construction work had caused disruptions since the new year, including reducing Colombo St to one lane north of Bealey Ave.

Pahs Dairy owners Gui Rong Wang and Peter Wang are frustrated customers are bypassing their Colombo St shop.
JOSEPH JOHNSON / FAIRFAX NZ

Pahs Dairy owners Gui Rong Wang and Peter Wang are frustrated customers are bypassing their Colombo St shop.

The installation of the Papanui Parallel cycleway was restricting access to Peter Wang's shop, Pahs Dairy, and fences were blocking his three carparks.

READ MORE: Christchurch residents urge council to change cycleway routes

Parking limits on the street had been sliced from 15 minutes to five and the road was lined with cones that caused bottlenecks of traffic at either end. 

Wang said he earned less than a third this month than he did during the same time last year.

"If there are no customers, there's no business."

He said the cycleway made it "too difficult" for people to access his dairy, as there was now insufficient parking, delivery trucks could no longer stop safety to unload and it was too dangerous for elderly shoppers to step over the wide kerb on the edge of the cycleway.

In a letter to the Christchurch City Council, Wang said the cycleway was "not only troublesome but also a safety hazard".

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He said he had a $465,000 mortgage on the shop, which he had owned for six years, and was no longer able to meet payments.

The stress was taking a toll of his family, and he lay awake worrying about what the future would hold.

"My wife and I can't sleep; we are very sad and very worried."

Yanru Ma owned the fish and chip shop nearby and said he was operating at 20 per cent of his usual sales. Ma said people now drove past the shop he had run for six years to avoid the "chaos" outside.

"If it goes on much longer, I will have to close," he said.

The cycleway is part of a wider council programme to create 13 new cycleways through the city. 

Five public consultations were held, and the council fielded hundreds of submissions and made dozens of changes to the initial proposal before starting the $162 million project.

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 - Stuff

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