Car-free CBD? Auckland's High Street to ban cars on Thursday

The trial of a car-free central Auckland street will commence on Thursday - and if it has positive results, it could be rolling out permanently.

High St is a narrow Auckland street parallel to Queen St in the CBD. Cars and people are constantly competing for the tiny space, which parked cars make even smaller.

A Christmas festival on Thursday night is providing the opportunity for Auckland Council to trial the car-free system.

Pedestrians said they thought it would make people feel safer on the busy street.

"I think it's a good idea, allows you to make sure you can get where you want, don't have to worry about being run over," one said.

One businessman with a hotel on High St said the car ban is fine with him, as long as he can still get alcohol delivered for his business. He said they do need some space for couriers and delivery drivers to access the shops easily.

There are 14 times more people than cars on High St - and for the first time since the 1950s, more people are swapping their cars for public transport into the city.

Auckland Council has plans to ban cars on parts of Queen St when light rail is built in 2021.

The committee looking into the Queen St plan are also looking into whether surrounding streets would benefit from a car ban too.