Saturday, July 20, 2024

Christchurch prepares for SailGP roads congestion

Christchurch residents are being advised to plan ahead and expect travel to be affected during the upcoming ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix.

Thousands of spectators are expected to descend on the city for the international sailing race from the race village at Te Nukutai o Tapoa Naval Point, on March 23-24. 

SailGP has prepared a traffic management plan with input from Christchurch City Council, ChristchurchNZ, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, and the local community to prevent Lyttelton from being overwhelmed by traffic.

The plan is similar to last year with a tunnel restriction limiting access into Lyttelton between midday – 6pm on race days. Only emergency vehicles, official event vehicles (buses and shuttles), taxis and vehicles with a clearly displayed pass will be able to access Lyttelton through the tunnel. Vehicles can exit Lyttelton at any time.

Vehicle entry to Lyttelton will not be available from Sumner or Governors Bay. Cycle access to Lyttelton will not be affected by the restrictions, Council today confirmed.

During the SailGP event, Naval Point will be the event village with a technical area for visiting teams and operations. As such, the Naval Point public boat ramp, Stark’s Engineering boat ramp and the windsports ramps will be closed between 7 March – 30 March in order to maintain a safe environment on a busy working site. Closures will be lifted earlier if possible to do so, Council said.

Lyttelton residents and workers will be able travel through the tunnel to access their homes and workplaces during the access restriction period via Bridle Path Road (Heathcote) on both days using an allocated vehicle access pass, which will be mailed to them from Monday 11 March. Businesses that require passes for their employees and/or contractors and suppliers will be able to access additional passes.

Regular passengers on the ferry should note that there will be some changes to the usual timetable. Buses will replace cancelled sailings. Times will be available on the Metro website closer to the event.

Traffic management will also be in place surrounding the city centre transport hub outside Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre to ensure safe pick up and drop off for official event shuttles that will be transporting ticket holders to Naval Point. Road closures will be in place on Armagh Street and Colombo Street around Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, only during pick-up and drop-off time. 

SailGP and Environment Canterbury are offering free travel on Metro bus and ferry services for all SailGP ticket holders. Integrated ticketing is designed to enable SailGP fans to get to and from the city centre transport hub – located outside Te Pae on the corner of Oxford Terrace and Armagh St – and board official event shuttles to the Race Stadium at Naval Point.

Find more details on the traffic management plan here.

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