FAQ - An Accessible City

1. What is the purpose of An Accessible City?

The intention is to create a central city transport system that will be flexible and resilient, able to accommodate projected population growth as well as supporting growth in travel by public transport, walking, cycling and driving.

The purpose of An Accessible City is to provide a clear transport framework for the Central City that ensures the transport partners (CCC, ECan, NZTA and CERA) work to a common plan as redevelopment occurs over coming decades. It also ensures the Central City transport system links with the wider transport network, and supports recovery and the Crown’s investment in Anchor Projects.

The transport system will allow people to travel easily between the central city and other parts of Christchurch and to get to key destinations within the central city. An Accessible City supports a people friendly compact core and outlines the transport system with:

  • Improved transport options for pedestrians, cycles, public transport and vehicles
  • Bus interchange and super-stops
  • Manchester Street boulevard to support bus routes
  • Enhanced road layouts and streetscapes
  • Slower speed environments for safety and improved environments, including a 30 km/hr inner speed zone
  • Conversion of Salisbury and Kilmore Street to two-way, but retaining the other three one-way couplets
  • Parking to support businesses and key destinations
  • Improved Avenues as outer arterial.


2. How was An Accessible City developed?

The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan was approved on 31 July 2012 and contained limited information on transport in the central city. It was intended that more detailed work would be done after 31 July 2012 to design a transport system to support the recovery of the central city. In November 2012 a draft An Accessible City chapter was released for public consultation, which ran from 15 November 2012 to February 1 2013.  There were 278 thoughtful submissions received which were collated and summarised for the Minister.

Released on 31 October 2013, the final An Accessible City is the replacement transport chapter of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. It has been developed by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) with extensive input from Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury and the New Zealand Transport Agency and incorporates feedback from the public consultation process.

3. Why was feedback sought?

We want to make sure An Accessible City is true to its title. The transport system should meet the changing needs of people and businesses and be sustainable and affordable with safe, reliable and resilient travel choices. The streets, cycleways and walkways also need to work well with the buildings and public spaces to create great places for living, working, shopping and recreation.

To do this we wanted to better understand the needs of the people and businesses of Christchurch.
We wanted to get people to think about their transport needs, or a typical journey, and get them to tell us whether the draft transport chapter met their needs or if improvements could be made.

We were interested in hearing people’s views on all aspects of the draft plan, including pedestrian and cycle routes and facilities, the bus system, streets (including one-way/two-way issues) and ultimately how to make the central city accessible to all.

4. What happened to the submissions? How did we listen? (How was the feedback reflected in the final version?)

Public consultation on the draft An Accessible City ran from 15 November 2012 to 1 February 2013. In total 278 submissions were received and around 20 stakeholder user group and community group engagement meetings were held to understand the transport needs of people and businesses. The submissions were compiled into a database and key points grouped by themes which were assessed and recommended amendments prepared. Specific analysis was undertaken on three main areas identified by the feedback: one-way/two-way streets, speed limits and parking. The suggested amendments were then tested with a number of parties to ensure that the best possible outcome is promoted by An Accessible City.

Read an overview of the main themes covered in the submissions that were made regarding An Accessible City, along with electronic copies of all the submissions received.

These amendments include focusing on creating a compact Core with pedestrian friendly spaces, separated cycle routes, improved public transport routes, and enhanced one-ways to fit with the adjacent environment. Major revisions include:

  • There will be a maximum speed limit of 30km/h within the Core, and 50km/h outside the Core.
  • Some one-way streets will now be 2-way (Salisbury/Kilmore two conversion to fit with residential and bus routes).
  • Inclusion of Implementation schedule – what is going to happen when.

5. Why has it taken so long to announce the amendments to An Accessible City?

Public consultation closed in February 2013, and submissions were collated and summarised through to March 2013. There were 278 thoughtful submissions received, and these were assessed and recommended amendments to An Accessible City were suggested in May 2013. Many submissions sought clarification on how the plan would be implemented and who would implement the plan. An implementation section was therefore prepared with costs for the network improvements which were then fed into the cost sharing negotiations between the Crown and Christchurch City Council. This process concluded in July 2013, and thereafter the Minister provisionally approved the amendments to An Accessible City. Further discussions with Treasury and the New Zealand Transport Agency then ensued to inform the preparation of a Cabinet Paper in September informing the Ministers intention to adopt An Accessible City as the replacement transport chapter of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan.

6. Has there been any further development since consultation closed?

CERA and CCC are jointly developing design guidelines, network concept plans, an implementation plan and parking management plan. These are included in the implementation section of the final An Accessible City. Some preliminary technical analysis has been commissioned to update the land-use activity database for the central city, update the transport models for travel demand estimates, and develop concept thinking for the cycle network, street plans, intersection configurations and public realm. In parallel a number of Anchor Projects have begun concept design, with the public realm and transport interface being carefully considered. This work provides the basis for the public realm and network concept plans that are being developed as input to the design and delivery of the first phase transport projects identified in the cost sharing agreement.

7. When will we see the transport plan delivered?

CERA and CCC have agreed the cost sharing for the first phase transport projects and will commence design immediately. The earliest changes will see the network transformation around Hospital Corner, where Oxford Terrace will be transferred to Tuam Street as the eastbound one-way to enable the commencement of the Avon River works and Hospital redevelopment. The other first phase projects include sections of Cambridge Terrace/Durham Street, Armagh and Colombo adjacent to Victoria Square, the Manchester Street boulevard, Kilmore Street two-way and Avenue enhancements at Moorhouse/Lincoln Road, Moorhouse/Fitzgerald and Fitzgerald Bridge. These projects have been chosen to support the Anchor Project programme for the Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct, East and North Frame, the Health Precinct and the development of the Bus Interchange.

The delivery for the remaining projects will be confirmed through the development of the full implementation plan expected in December 2013.

8. How will An Accessible City be delivered?

An Accessible City will be delivered by the transport partners over future decades, and in line with the current responsibilities of the organisations.

CCC, as an asset owner and road controlling authority, will be responsible for delivering the majority of the works associated with the Chapter.

ECan will be responsible for delivering the public transport system (excluding the Bus Interchange Anchor Project and associated bus infrastructure).

NZTA will continue its planning and funding role through its existing funding mechanisms.

CERA will focus on delivery of the Bus Interchange Anchor Project, and coordination and delivery of An Accessible City projects associated with earthquake recovery and other Anchor Projects.

9. How much will An Accessible City cost?

The estimated total cost for delivery of An Accessible City is $347 Million (including the Bus Interchange Anchor Project).

The First Phase transport projects totalling around $71 million have been identified to align with delivery of the key anchor projects or the CCRP being the Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct, Health Precinct, East Frame and the Bus Interchange.

10. Why the change in speed limit?

One of the key changes from the draft chapter of An Accessible City will be extension of the 30km/hr speed limit of the Inner Zone to include the one-way streets running through this Zone. This is in response to strong feedback received, and will ensure the Core/Inner Zone is consistent and legible to users while still supporting the flow of vehicle movement along the streets. The reduced speed environment provides a safer transport system with an improved environment.

The Outer Zone of the Central City will remain at 50km/hr speed limit enabling efficient access to the Core, though some slower operating speeds in local residential areas is possible.

11. When will the 30km/hr speed limit take effect?

The 30kmh will not be implemented until the transport changes outlined in the Accessible City chapter are in place.

12. What will happen to one-way streets?

Most will remain but will be enhanced to be in keeping with the surrounding environment.

  • Cambridge Terrace will be slowed and enhanced to blend in with Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct.
  • Tuam Street will become a west-east one-way street to accommodate the impact of Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct and the Stadium on Oxford Terrace and Lichfield Street.
  • Salisbury and Kilmore Streets will become two-way streets.

Many submissions support the retention of the one-way system, while some submissions requested the removal of all one-ways, suggesting that this was happening overseas. Analysis found that some cities are changing some of their one-ways, but these are usually secondary streets and have significant alternative main arterial roads adjacent to them as vehicle movement links. In Christchurch, three one-way couplets will remain as the main distributer streets of the central city. Transport analysis has shown that the conversion of any other than Salisbury and Kilmore Streets (that carry significantly less traffic) would be detrimental to the overall transport, safety and amenity outcomes sought for the city.

13. How are cyclists considered?

Through the feedback process there was general support for the provision of the key cycle routes.  These will be prioritised for cycling and will have separated paths where possible to provide safe and comfortable routes.

14. How are pedestrians considered?

Through the public consultation process strong support was received for the provision of an enhanced walking environment that is barrier-free for people with disabilities.  The Core will be a pedestrian-friendly area, with slower speed vehicles, some vehicle free areas and pedestrian facilities that create an environment that supports recreational, office and retail use.  There will be some separated routes to minimise potential conflicts with other modes of travel – walk/cycle.

14. What about the light rail proposals?

Light rail is outside the scope of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, which focuses on the central city. All future public transport options for Christchurch are to be considered in a study to be led by Environment Canterbury. An Accessible City does not preclude alternative forms of public transport in the future. For the foreseeable future public transport improvements will be provided through the bus system with the new bus interchange, super-stops and priority measures on key routes.

15. What is happening with parking?

An Accessible City outlines the approach to parking in the central city. The CCRP has already initiated a change to the District Plan that removes the development minimum requirement and replaces it with a maximum of 50% of a developments gross leasable floor area (GLFA). This enables developers to determine private off-street parking requirements to suit their staff and visitor needs.

Some on-street parking will be lost to the enhancement of streetscapes or due to network changes such as parts of Oxford Terrace and Lichfield Street becoming key anchor projects for precincts. The remaining on-street parking will be prioritised for short stay, delivery and people with disability needs, resulting in a similar amount of short stay parking overall for visitors to the city.

Key destinations in the central city will have conveniently located public off-street parking buildings that blend in with their surrounds and have active ground floor frontages. This parking is for short to medium stay visitors to meet business needs, and there will be improved “wayfinding” showing access from the main distributer and local distributer street network. These parking buildings will be provided by a mix of Council and private investors.

Christchurch City Council has begin work to develop an overal parking management plan for the central city. This work includes indentifying the current parking provisions and anticipated changes in the short term, and developing a tactical plan to ensure parking is adequately provided to ensure continued business vitality. For the long term, an assessment is being made of the anticipated activity levels in each block, the likely travel demands and the available transport options to identify the appropriate ammount and location of publi off-street car parking buildings for business and visitor needs.

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