Station vehicle ban proposed

German backpacker Janne Sandmann takes a selfie yesterday afternoon in front of the Dunedin...
German backpacker Janne Sandmann takes a selfie yesterday afternoon in front of the Dunedin Railway Station, which is partly obscured by a tourist bus. Under a Dunedin City Council proposal, a 70m strip in front of the listed heritage building will be vehicle free.PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Pedestrians may soon be able to enjoy a car-free stroll in front of one of Dunedin's most well-known landmarks.

Under a new proposal from the Dunedin City Council, vehicles will be restricted from a 70m strip in front of the Dunedin Railway Station, from Anzac Ave to the entrance of the listed heritage building.

A report on the proposal and options for proceeding with public consultation will be presented to councillors at a full council meeting on Tuesday.

The proposal aims to increase safety in the busy pedestrian area and to improve the look and feel of the railway station.

The use of the thoroughfare between Castle St and Anzac Ave by tour buses, coaches and private vehicles has a significant effect on the visual amenity and safety of the area, the report said.

Feedback from two trial closures showed a majority of submissions supported the closure. Some of the key benefits identified by respondents were the increased safety and amenity of the area.

Seven P30 car parking spaces and one taxi stand would be lost if the proposal was to proceed.

Two new P30 parking spaces will be added to the parking area at the southern end of the station.

The taxi stand would be relocated to Stuart St outside the Law Courts building.

New coach and bus pick up/drop off spaces would be added to Castle St and Anzac Ave.

Council staff have recommended a special consultative procedure be used to declare the area a pedestrian mall.

The process includes a public consultation process, and it was also recommended an independent commissioner be given the authority to hear submissions and make a decision on the proposal.

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