Auckland Council considering slashing car parks in CBD for bus, cycle lanes

Auckland Council could be about to wage its biggest war yet on car parking with a new strategy to slash parking spaces up for debate. 

Plans are being drawn up to slash the number of parks on many of the city's main roads to make way for more bus and cycle lanes. 

Even in lockdown, a rainy day brings congestion to Auckland roads, but the council wants to tackle traffic woes by swapping out car parks for cleaner and greener options.

"We are really excited about that kind of future because it means we're building a city that's more of a joy to be around," Bike Auckland spokesperson Mary-Margaret Slack tells Newshub.

Councillors will consider the new parking strategy on Thursday, giving Auckland Transport sweeping powers to remove car parks and introduce bus and cycle lanes without consulting residents or businesses.

The central city, Newmarket, Takapuna, Albany, Henderson, New Lynn, Sylvia Park and Manukau are the first priority with this plan potentially in place by 2030. 

"That actually spells the death for a lot of businesses," Gary Holmes from the Dominion Road Business Association says. 

But the association already have its hands full, as they are fighting against plans for light rail. 

 "Unfortunately we don't have the benefit of major shopping malls that have free parking within their malls so that parking is the key for retail and places like Dominion Road," Holmes says. 

The strategy also means many Aucklanders won't be able to rely on parking outside their own homes.

 "We can see there's a need in a number of places on arterial roads for more road space but this really is a blanket approach, a sort of one size fits all," Martin Glynn from the AA tells Newshub. 

The ultimate goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the council is trying to do this by reducing the number of cars on the road.

"People are always going to need to drive a little bit but there are many trips that could be replaced by bike or public transport," Slack says. 

Wider consultation on the plan will begin early next year.

Watch the full story above.