No need for cars on Queen St – Phil Goff

The AM Show 28/11/2018

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says it's about time cars say goodbye to Queen St as part of a move to a more pedestrian-friendly city centre.

On Tuesday Auckland Council voted unanimously in favour of trials aiming to make the central city better for walking, which Mr Goff said would be based on a plan presented to the council in March.

He told The AM Show the plan is "vision that's backed up by necessity".

"What do we need cars down Queen St for? Nobody stops and parks on Queen St, cause you can't. It's just a through route and we want Queen St to be a destination, where you gather," he said.

Mr Goff said the number of people coming to the central city is now made up of 118,000 workers, 70,000 students and 57,000 residents.

Meanwhile the number of cars on Queen St has halved over in recent times, which Mr Goff puts down to there being no reason to drive there.

Other roads are also in the spotlight in the move to make the city safer and more attractive for walking.

"High St's just a disaster, you've got cars parked there, you've got cars trying to fit through a narrow two lane road, and footpaths that [aren't very] wide," Mr Goff said.

"I had an office up on high street at one stage, you've got the beautiful Freyberg Square now and then you've got this rotten road that's just cluttered."

Mr Goff said some retailers may be concerned about an impact on sales, but other streets have seen a bump in sales when the cars went away.

"In the past there's been a few retailers that have died in a ditch to prevent it," he said.

"[But] when we did Fort St, we made it a common area, you've got a few cars down there but largely pedestrianised, actually the sales went up in the retail shops."

Watch the full interview with Phil Goff above.

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