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Speak now before you get a shock if Auckland Transport plans implemented

Press release
Wednesday 5 May 2021

Aucklanders have only two days to give feedback to Auckland Transport’s proposal for Queen Street, and Heart of the City is urging Aucklanders to tell Auckland Transport what they think.

“We’ve heard from a wide range of Aucklanders with different needs who would be deeply impacted if these plans see the light of day. These people go to the theatre, go to appointments, dine out, go shopping and make deliveries and these plans would simply mean that for many, they simply will no longer be able to get here,” says Chief Executive Viv Beck.

One of the people that Heart of the City has heard from is Dr Le Grice, CNZM, OBE, FRSC, who cites the “outrageous and totally unacceptable” plan (to close Queen Street, between Mayoral Drive and Wellesley Street, to all cars and other vehicles, except for buses, travelling north) that blatantly disregards the human rights of people with mobility disability needs. Facing serious mobility issues himself, Dr Le Grice has worked long and hard to ensure better consideration for people with mobility disabilities, and he is fully aware of their legal rights.

Heart of the City supports an aspiration for the Queen Street/Waihorotiu Valley to be a great place for people, inclusive and with an organised way of supporting activity like deliveries and access for people with mobility needs. But the plan currently out for consultation, until this Friday 7 May, fails at many levels as we continue to hear from many Aucklanders.

Heart of the City wants to see a beautiful and well-functioning Queen Street but the Auckland Transport plans lack understanding of needs and empathy for our many city centre users.

Viv Beck says “Our city centre must provide effective access for people. Any change to essential functions must be made with pragmatism and common sense, in view at all times. Auckland Transport needs to know that their plans will seriously impact many users who need to come to Queen Street, and that’s just not good enough”.

“We never expected that the Access for Everyone concept, would ignore key users and we expected careful consideration for how scarce kerbside space would be used, including how and when deliveries are made and access by taxis and rideshare.”

“We are also extremely concerned about the impact that these proposals will have on getting goods and services to this area. These are echoed by the National Road Carriers Association, who say the plans will “significantly reduce access for freight”, and add “time, expense and risk for delivery drivers”, with possible implications of stopping servicing businesses. This is truly unacceptable and we urge Aucklanders to get their feedback to Auckland Transport by Friday.”

“Now is the time to drive positive change in the city centre and we’d like to see a significant rethink by Auckland Transport,” says Beck.