Auckland MP Chlöe Swarbrick launches petition to ban cars on Queen Street

Auckland MP Chlöe Swarbrick has launched a petition to ban cars on Queen Street once and for all.

It's a plan that's been discussed for decades, but still shows no sign of actually happening.

It was once called the 'Golden Mile' but the shine on Queen Street seems to have worn off.

Where shops once flourished, 'For Lease' signs make up much of Auckland's main drag.

In order to bring it back to life there's a plan, or petition, to cut out the cars.

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick is behind the new petition to 'pedestrianise' Queen Street.

"You only have to stand out here in the morning and watch as pedestrians are pushed into the sides and there are far few single-occupancy vehicles," she said.

Swarbrick said congested cars are clogging up the street, turning off shoppers and killing any vibrancy.

It's something the council has been edging toward but never actually put in place.

Auckland Council is currently implementing what it calls its Wai Horotiu project.

It will see the footpaths widened and reduced road space, meaning fewer cars.

However, there will still be vehicle lanes - the council said that's because it's a high-volume bus area.

Not everyone's a fan of removing cars with the 'Save Queen Street' group representing businesses in the area.

It said maybe "one day" it could happen, but not while City Rail Link construction is ongoing.

The group argued there is insufficient public transport to get people into the CBD.

"The reality is right now we have a city with a lot of construction, a lot of people are having trouble accessing the city centre and they're concerned about safety," Viv Beck from Save Queen Street said.

Swarbrick disagreed and said there's no time like the present.

"When you have cars being blocked out of spaces, you have an opportunity for making those spaces all the better for having pedestrians to hang out in." 

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff also supports the idea but he also said: "Not just yet."

So while a car-less Queen Street seems to have the support it needs, it could be years before the traffic grinds to a permanent halt.