Funding confirmed for second tram loop

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 14:29 26/06/2014
Christchurch trams
Kirk Hargreaves/Fairfax NZ

MORE SERVICES, MORE MONEY: From November, the tram fare will be hiked from $10 to $15 an adult.

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Funding for a second loop for Christchurch's heritage tramway has been secured.

Questions had been raised over whether the Christchurch City Council had the money to complete a second loop allowing trams to travel through to High St - despite over 95 per cent of the track already being laid.

The original tram loop down Rolleston Ave and Armagh St was expected to be open to the public this spring.

Today, the council announced an additional $1.69 million would go towards the project as part of their 2014/15 Annual Plan.

Christchurch Tramway Ltd managing director Michael Esposito last month urged councillors to allocate Annual Plan funds to the tram. He said it would help revitalise the central city by linking High St with other shopping precincts and anchor projects.

He also believed the loop would be vital to the opening of the ICC Cricket World Cup in February.

Esposito today said the decision was a "major step forward for the recovery of the central city", and the second loop was "looking likely" to be completed by February.

The second loop would pass along Oxford Tce, through the relocated Re:Start Mall, from Cashel St Mall to High St and Colombo St, and would loop around Cathedral Square on a 45 minute trip.

From November, the tram fare would be hiked from $10 to $15 an adult, but would remain free for children under 15. The fare had initially been offered at a reduced rate following the tram's opening.

The Restaurant Tram would also be back in operation from November.

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- The Press

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