Road revamp could mean fewer hospital parks

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 06:20 08/08/2014

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Dozens of on-street parking spaces around Christchurch Hospital and Hagley Park may be lost under plans to revamp the surrounding road network.

The revamp is needed to give effect to the Accessible City chapter of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan and requires significant changes to be made to the area known as Hospital Corner and to the busy intersection of Moorhouse Ave, Lincoln Rd and Hagley Ave.

As part of the Hospital Corner changes, the Christchurch City Council is proposing to close Oxford Tce to vehicles heading east to the central city and to make Tuam St one-way from the Hospital Corner intersection to Fitzgerald Ave.

A bus super stop is proposed to be built on Tuam St, between Hospital Corner and Antigua St.

The changes could result in the loss of up to 51 on-street parking spaces around Christchurch Hospital.

At the Hagley/Moorhouse intersection it is proposed to create a simplified, signalled T-intersection in place of the existing five-arm intersection.

The aim is to reduce traffic pressure on Hagley Ave, to and from Hospital Corner, by redirecting vehicles from Lincoln Rd and Moorhouse Ave to Selwyn and Montreal streets.

Hagley Ave would then be changed to a southbound one-way street between Selwyn St and Moorhouse Ave.

The changes will enable an additional 23 parking spaces to be provided next to the netball courts, however, they will result in an overall net loss of 14 parking spaces in the Hagley/Moorhouse area.

The council is due to begin consulting the community about the proposed changes this weekend but it says it has limited ability to make alterations to the plans because they are part of a government-mandated wider transport scheme for the central city.

Cr David East yesterday questioned why the council was consulting when it was clear it had little room to respond to concerns that might be raised during the consultation process.

Council chief planning officer Mike Theelen said the council was obliged to consult and could make minor alterations: "There is flexibility but there is a not a huge amount of flexibility."

Cr Yani Johanson said he could not support the proposed roading changes as he did not believe they represented the best use of council's money.

"We have not seen any business case as to why these projects are a priority for funding ahead of anything else we have to do," said Johanson. "We need to see robust analysis as to why spending this money makes sense."

He and East were the only councillors who voted against beginning the consultation process at yesterday's earthquake recovery committee meeting.

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- The Press

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