Council needs to make fast u-turn on George St - AA

22 May 2020

Council needs to make fast u-turn on George St - AA

The AA is urging Dunedin City Council to listen to its people and reverse the ill-conceived changes it has made on George Street.

“The AA was one of many groups to tell the council that these changes were a bad idea, but none of us were listened to beforehand,” says AA Otago District chairperson Malcolm Budd.

“Now we are seeing the reality hit, and it is exactly what people warned the council would happen: people struggling to travel at the extremely low limit, more congestion, and nearly everyone saying the changes have made the area worse rather than better.

“The AA is calling on the council to show some common sense and reverse the changes.”

Malcolm says that the response he has heard from AA Members since the changes were introduced have been overwhelmingly negative, with terms like “ludicrous”, “ridiculous” and “stupid” being among the common descriptions.

The fact that the decision was rushed through without proper consultation was bad enough, but the utter mess created by the changes are now the AA’s major concern.

“While the council talks about making the area better for people, they need to remember that all those drivers and passengers using George Street are people too.

“Crawling along at 10km/h in a car or bus makes no sense to anyone and, with the phasing of the traffic lights being changed as well, we are seeing more delays and congestion with queues of traffic building up in the area.

“We are also hearing reports of more people just walking out in front of vehicles now and, bearing in mind that it previously had a low 30km/h limit, many fear there is the potential for these changes to actually increase risks on the road.

“The council now has an opportunity to listen to the community and respond. If they don’t, it sends the opposite message that the council see themselves as knowing ‘better’ than the people they are supposed to represent and happy to ignore what those who live, visit and work in our city think.”

For more information contact:

Malcolm Budd
AA Otago district chairperson
New Zealand Automobile Association 
M. 027 534 1527

The New Zealand Automobile Association is an incorporated society with more than 1.7 million Members. It represents the interests of road users who collectively pay more than $2 billion in taxes each year through fuels excise, road user charges and GST.

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