Wellington City argues no impact on retailers from street layout changes

(Source: Supplied)

By using EFTPOS spending figures, a new Wellington City Council report has uncovered the effects of pedestrian and bike-friendly street changes on local retailers.

The inaugural ‘Council Changing Lanes’ report outlines weekly consumer spending in local businesses especially in areas where development activity is occurring.

The five retail areas studied include Thorndon Quay, Dixon Street, Riddiford Street, Adelaide Road and Tinakori Road.

According to initial findings, changes to street layouts have not negatively impacted retail spending.

Baz Kaufman, manager of strategy policy and research at the council, said the report presents an “overall picture” of spend before, during and after street layout changes.

“Understandably, local retailers, hospitality businesses and service providers have told us they want to better understand the impacts of these changes on their businesses.

“The transactions are averaged across all monitored retailers, so there may be businesses that are impacted more than others.”

Anna Calver, the council’s manager for economic wellbeing, said changes to the city’s road and streetscapes can be “unsettling for businesses” particularly as they recover following the pandemic.

“The changes the council is making across the city are about making Wellington safer for everyone and fit for the future.

“But it’s important to acknowledge change can bring uncertainty and nervousness for some local businesses, as these improvements often necessitate the removal of some on-street parking to create more space for bikes, buses and pedestrians.”

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