A gaggle of Queen Road landlords and companies has misplaced its bid to cease additional short-term work to make Auckland’s predominant business road extra pedestrian-friendly.
The Save Queen Road Society (SQSS) is searching for a judicial evaluation of the Auckland Council’s decision-making round a pilot programme to check pedestrian upgrades.
As a part of that, it sought an interim injunction to cease among the deliberate enhancements to decrease Queen Road, which might imply the substitute of among the emergency works put in after final yr’s Covid-19 lockdown with higher-quality short-term choices.
Each side appeared within the Excessive Courtroom at Auckland yesterday, and in a call launched late this afternoon, Justice Venning dismissed SQSS’s bid for an injunction.
In court docket, SQSS lawyer Sam Lowery mentioned the group didn’t oppose the aim of constructing the road higher for pedestrians.
Nevertheless, the continuing pilot programme was harming companies in an already robust yr within the aftermath of Covid-19, he mentioned.
The council gave the impression to be experimenting with short-term measures to see what could or could not work and companies had not been informed how lengthy which may go on for, Lowery mentioned.
“The society’s place is that if Auckland’s predominant business road is to endure elementary change, do it as soon as and do it proper.”
There have been extra empty store fronts than ever and foot visitors was down 40 % or extra, Lowery mentioned.
“Companies are struggling to remain afloat.
“Council does not appear to take any actual subject… that emergency works have made life tougher in a really robust yr.”
The emergency works had additionally prompted issues with house for buses to cease and for couriers to make deliveries, Lowery mentioned.
Short-term modifications proposed by the council on decrease Queen Road had been solely beauty and didn’t resolve these points, he mentioned.
Companies had waited for a yr to see how the pilot would play out, however that they had now had sufficient, Lowery mentioned.
“The road is a large number, it appears to be like like a building website, foot visitors has declined, retailer fronts are empty.”
Auckland Council’s lawyer Padraig McNamara mentioned the upgrades had been a giant enchancment on the established order.
The brand new works would supply some extent of comparability, and a greater base for suggestions and session and “the entire level of the pilot is to check issues after which modify in response to suggestions”, McNamara mentioned.
In an announcement this afternoon, Auckland Council mentioned in the present day’s resolution meant it might now proceed with the upgrades on Queen Road between Shortland Road and Customs Road, as deliberate and on schedule.
The substantive judicial evaluation might be heard within the Excessive Courtroom at Auckland in July.