Ferry parking fight continues

DECISIONS: The Lyttelton Port Company and Environment Canterbury are going to look into more options for the port, pictured above. This comes after the LPC decided to reduce bus parking spaces from three to one and not provide a pick-up/drop-off zone.

More options will be looked into before bus parking is decreased at the Diamond Harbour Ferry terminal in Lyttelton.

It follows a decision by the Lyttelton Port Company to reduce bus parking spaces from three to one and not provide a pick-up/drop-off zone.

An urgent meeting was held by the Banks Peninsula Community Board with the LPC, Environment Canterbury and the city council on Monday.

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It was decided at the meeting that the LPC and ECan would look into more options and come back to the board in a few weeks’ time.

Diamond Harbour Residents’ Association chairman Richard Suggate said the further investigation is good but he’s not pessimistic nor optimistic about the final outcome.

He said the LPC should put the public interest above their own.

Community board member Jed O’Donoghue said he’s pleased other resolutions will be considered but ultimately the board don’t have the final say.

“At the end of the day we can only influence them because its their land,” he said.

An online petition calling for better public access to the Diamond Harbour ferry terminal has attracted more than 230 signatures in two weeks.

Set up by the Diamond Harbour Residents Association, the petition calls on the city council and Environment Canterbury to “ensure that within 100m of the Diamond Harbour ferry terminal, there is adequate bus parking on the Lyttelton wharf and that there is a drop-off/pick-up zone for private vehicles.”

Mr Suggate told a board meeting two weeks ago that the LPC’s refusal to provide a drop-off zone would force the infirm, disabled or with heavy parcels, to walk from Norwich Quay.

Port company chief executive Peter Davie said LPC staff met with the Banks Peninsula Community Board on July 31.

Mr Davie previously said the they are working with ECan to ensure it has minimum impact on current services and it will not affect ferry users at all.

He said an upgrade of the existing Diamond Harbour Ferry facilities will take place at the same time as the LPC staff car park is being built adjacent to Waterfront House and the work should be completed before Christmas.

“We will work with Black Cat Cruises to enable people to have access. If there are particular items that require to be around 50m closer to the ferry terminal than they can achieve via the stairs, then we will accommodate them through the port,’’ Mr Davie said.

Black Cat Cruises chief executive Paul Milligan said they had been involved with discussions about the issue with LPC and ECan.

“An ideal site is to move us down to the west end with the new marina, which will be new and there will be room for buses to move around. But we’re not going to get that in the near future so we just need to make the best of the facilities we currently have.”

He said that was part of LPC’s long term plan, but would take time to come into fruition.

DECISIONS: The Lyttelton Port Company and Environment Canterbury are going to look into more options for the port, pictured above. This comes after the LPC decided to reduce bus parking spaces from three to one and not provide a pick-up/drop-off zone.

Richard Suggate

Peter Davie LPC chief exec

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