Tram may go through polytechnic

17:00, Jun 24 2010

Running tram lines through the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) would help revitalise the city centre, the Christchurch City Council says.

Councillors yesterday voted on the location of the second stage of its tram extension.

Under the proposal, the return leg of the tram route will run through the polytechnic campus, rather than looping around Barbadoes, Coventry and Williams streets as originally planned.

Council strategy and planning manager Mike Theelen said the plan came from a "happy coincidence of ideas" between the council and the polytechnic.

"We had always identified [the polytechnic] as a major potential node for the tram and then we found out that they were in favour of it too," he said.

Theelen said there was evidence that links with educational institutions and the young people studying there were a key part of inner-city vibrancy, he said.

Polytechnic chairwoman Jenn Bestwick said the proposal would support campus plans to become a more significant part of the city.

The tram extension and a public walkway would "bring back a sense of vibrancy" to the area, she said.

Bestwick said the plans would affect several campus buildings, with work already under way to clear an area for the tram.

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