Christchurch shared zone gains traction

A Hearings Panel has recommended Christchurch City Council proceed with plans to turn City Mall into a shared zone.

Making City Mall into a shared zone would mean consistent traffic rules would apply to create a safe environment for the connecting pedestrian-friendly areas of Oxford Terrace, Cashel Street and High Street.

“The majority of public submissions favour the move to change the legal status of the mall,’’ says Hearings Panel Chair, Councillor Anne Galloway.

“After considering the 179 submissions received from the public, including oral submissions, the Hearings Panel will be recommending to the Council that it makes City Mall a shared zone, like Oxford Terrace.’’

The shared zone would extend from Cashel Street’s intersection with Oxford Terrace to its intersection with High Street, and include High Street between Cashel Street and Hereford Street. There would be a 10 km/h speed limit.

Trams and emergency vehicles would be permitted in the mall at any time.

However, goods vehicles servicing the businesses along City Mall would only have restricted access for safety reasons.

“The original proposal was to only allow goods vehicles access to the mall in the morning between the hours of 5 and 10am,’’ says Cr Galloway.

“The Central City Business Association and some businesses raised concerns about good vehicles not being able to access City Mall in the afternoons. They said some businesses, particularly those in the hospitality and catering industries, could only receive their deliveries then,” she said.

“We’ve taken those concerns on board and now recommending that goods vehicles should also be allowed into City Mall between 4 and 5pm.”

Cycles and scooters will also be permitted to use the shared zone.

“There were some submitters who raised concerns about the risk to pedestrians of having cyclists riding through City Mall. We know that cyclists already use this area. Pedestrian safety is the top priority in a shared zone, therefore the Hearings Panel is recommending that staff install signage that prioritises pedestrian safety as part of the project.

“Oxford Terrace, which is already a shared zone, links directly to City Mall so it makes sense for there to be consistent rules in place,’’ says Cr Galloway.

The Hearings Panel’s recommendations will be considered by the full Council.