16 Apr 2017

Govt threatens to pull funding for Chch downtown plan

1:37 pm on 16 April 2017

The government is threatening to cancel its funding for a plan to make central Christchurch more pedestrian and cycle friendly if changes are not made.

Victoria St in Christchurch

Christchurch City Council proposes turning Victoria St into a cul-de-sac Photo: RNZ / Rachel Graham

The Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Gerry Brownlee, said the government was paying 60 percent of the funding for the Accessible City plan, but last week he was granted authorisation by Cabinet to suspend its funding.

Mr Brownlee said the plan, which has been partially implemented, risked creating a dysfunctional central city.

"Its absurd. I'm hearing all the time from people who are going to have lunch or coffee in the central city and simply can't park their car.

"Or end up parking such a long way away from it that they decide they may as well just drive to one of the suburban malls."

He said he was constantly hearing from people who have tried to visit the central city but could not find a park.

He wanted to hear about progress on changes being made by Tuesday.