National calls Chch CBD upgrades ‘waste of money’Posted by On

The National Party is branding planned central city upgrades in Christchurch a waste of money.

A section of Gloucester Street in the CBD will be overhauled from next week, becoming a one-way lane with its speed limit reduced to 10km/h on a 10-week trial basis.

The $1.5 million project will receive 90 percent of its funding from Waka Kotahi, through its Streets for People programme, with the remaining amount funded by the Christchurch City Council.

National Party transport spokesperson Simeon Brown said the money would be better used improving the country’s roads.

“It’s an absolute waste of money, the reality is the government is taking millions of dollars out of people’s road taxes to pay for anti-car policies,” he said.

“This only makes it harder to get around and that money would be much better used filling in potholes.”

However, Christchurch city councillor Jake McKellan disagreed with criticism the work was a waste of money, saying the upgrades would have a positive economic impact by drawing more people to the area.

“We’re still rebuilding and I think Waka Kotahi clearly see this as we do, which is a street with lots of amazing facilities – Tūranga, the performing arts centre, the Court Theatre – and they, like us, appreciate that it’s a space that’s poorly utilised at the moment.”

Safety concerns had been raised by businesses in the central city, who said that violence and intimidation had risen, and McKellan said the upgrades could also act as a…

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