Squire’s owner Kim Hall says a plan to take out car parks on Main Road Stoke will hurt her business and make it harder for elderly customers to visit. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Carpark plan ‘makes no sense’

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A Stoke business owner is blasting a “bizarre” council plan that will see three car parks taken out on the main road to make way for a new pedestrian crossing, despite there already being two other ones within 80 metres of each other.

Squire’s owner Kim Hall was given notice last month that a new “pedestrian refuge crossing” would soon be built from the Broadgreen Community Centre leading into the main Stoke car park in Strawbridge Square.

The plan is part of a “traffic calming” plan for Stoke. However, it would also mean that Kim would lose three car parks which are often used for deliveries and families dropping off elderly customers.

“Parking is at a premium in Stoke as it is,” she says. “The carpark in Strawbridge Square is full at the best of times and the council is encouraging people at the community centre to come over here. They just have stuff all car parks over there.”

Kim says it looks like council has not given enough thought to the number of car parks the new community centre would need A Stoke business owner is blasting a “bizarre” council plan that will see three car parks taken out on the main road to make way for a new pedestrian crossing, despite there already being two other ones within 80 metres of each other.

Squire’s owner Kim Hall was given notice last month that a new “pedestrian refuge crossing” would soon be built from the Broadgreen Community Centre leading into the main Stoke car park in Strawbridge Square.

The plan is part of a “traffic calming” plan for Stoke. However, it would also mean that Kim would lose three car parks which are often used for deliveries and families dropping off elderly customers.

“Parking is at a premium in Stoke as it is,” she says. “The carpark in Strawbridge Square is full at the best of times and the council is encouraging people at the community centre to come over here. They just have stuff all car parks over there.”

Kim says it looks like council has not given enough thought to the number of car parks the new community centre would need and will funnel people into an already chocka carpark across the road.

“This is all while there are two other perfectly safe pedestrian crossings at the traffic lights within 80 metres of each other. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s bizarre.”

She says the first she heard of the plan was when the notice from the Nelson City Council was delivered to her business. Kim says the project manager told her that there had been consultation with the “Stoke Business Owners Association”, when there is none that exists.

“I’m the one it is directly affecting,” Kim says. “Why wasn’t I consulted?”

Chair of the Stoke redevelopment working party and deputy mayor, Paul Matheson, says the crossing project was linked to feedback received from Stoke community during the ‘Spotlight On Stoke’ consultation three years ago. Kim only took over the Squire’s business 18 months ago.

Paul says, through a number of public meetings and a survey, the community identified priorities for improving the Stoke area.

“The refuge was included in answer to feedback asking for improvements for traffic and pedestrian access along and across main roads that divide Stoke – particularly the Songer Street and Main Road Stoke intersection. It is intended to make it safer and easier to get across the main road.” 

It will be installed in February next year to be ready for the opening of the Greenmeadows Community and Recreation Facility.

Paul says he has made regular visits to local businesses over the plans.

However, that’s not good enough for Kim who says the crossing idea needs another look.

“Why don’t they clean up the side of the park and put angled car parks in there. It would double the car parking there. If you have sports games on at the weekend all you just need to do is look up Songer St. It’s chaos and this plan will not help at all.”