16 Dec 2018

Auckland CBD to trial pedestrian-only street next week

9:53 am on 16 December 2018

The closure of High Street to cars on Thursday is a taste of things to come as the council looks at making some Auckland inner city streets pedestrian-only.

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Photo: 123rf

The street will be closed just for one day on 20 December in the evening as part of the Late Night Christmas event.

Auckland councillors last month voted unanimously in favour of trialling pedestrian-only streets, including Queen Street.

Planning Committee chair Chris Darby said trialling a car-free High Street will provide a taste of things to come.

"[It is] the first of many bold and exciting ideas that celebrate the changing face of our city centre," he said.

Urban designer George Weeks previously told councillors that the initiative would prioritise public transport, walking and cycling.

"Over the next decade public transport capacity will increase by... up to 370 percent with rail, light rail, buses and ferries bringing hundreds of thousands of people into the city," he said.

"Fundamentally, the heart of the Queen St valley becomes the most accessible place in the whole of New Zealand. By removing the discretionary layer of car traffic you free-up street space to other functions."