Dunedin City Council (DCC) received feedback for many years on the impact of moving and parked buses and vehicles on pedestrian safety and amenity along the thoroughfare in front of the Dunedin Railway Station. It is a busy commuter route for pedestrians and cyclists travelling to and from the city centre, as well as a busy tourist area, situated between key visitor destinations such as Toitū Otago Settlers Museum and the Octagon. The Dunedin Railway Station is one of Dunedin’s most celebrated heritage buildings and attracts large numbers of visitors throughout the year, along with the ornate formal gardens in Anzac Square opposite the station. DCC plans for the area to be part of the city’s Cultural and Entertainment Quarter, providing a hub for visitors and locals.
DCC trialled closing the thoroughfare in front of Dunedin Railway Station for four days over a weekend in January 2018, and again for two weeks in late February/March 2019. The trial involved:
For both trials, a description of the trial vehicle access closure and plan showing the closure area, alternative bus parking and taxi stand locations were distributed to a wide range of stakeholders, including the AA, various taxi and bus companies, NZTA, Otago Farmers' Market, Spokes, and emergency services. DCC also issued press releases and promoted the trial on social media.
The key findings from public consultation and social media were:
The main concerns raised in the consultation related to:
DCC is now proposing and consulting on permanent closure of the thoroughfare to motor vehicles.