Second trial banning cars from in front of rail station

People  wander in front of the Dunedin Railway Station early last year during a trial keeping...
People wander in front of the Dunedin Railway Station early last year during a trial keeping motor vehicles clear of the station forecourt. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
The pedestrianisation of the area in front of the Dunedin Railway Station  will be trialled for a second time.

The Dunedin City Council yesterday announced plans for a two-week trial,  in which cars will be banned from using the road passing in front of the railway station,  from February 16 to March 3.

The  trial was another chance to test the merits of any permanent change, as well as the reaction from the public, businesses and other stakeholders, council transport group manager Richard Saunders said.

"Creating a pedestrian space in front of the railway station will improve safety and give locals and tourists better views of one of the city’s best-loved buildings.

"This will give us another chance to see how the area works as a pedestrian space during a longer, busier time for Dunedin," he said.

The council wanted to hear from people — via its website or social media —  whether they preferred the change to a pedestrian-only area, and if it was safer and worked as an events space, he said.

Coach parks would be relocated to either end of the station, in Castle St and Anzac Ave, and a temporary taxi stand would be provided in lower Stuart St outside the courthouse.

Mobility and short-term drop-off/pick-up parking would also be available at the southern end of the railway station, and cyclists would still be able to ride through.

The two-week trial comes after a four-day trial in January last year, in which planter boxes were positioned to block vehicles from using the through-road.

Public feedback at the time was positive,  80% of the 172 people surveyed supporting the closure, and a further 9% supporting it with some reservations, while just 11% of respondents were against the initiative.

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