We’re planning changes on this key central city street to make it more attractive to visit and safer for all users. We’d like to hear your views.

Project status: Analysis & reporting
Open for feedback: 17th July 2018 - 14th August 2018
17 Jul 2018

Upgrading Hereford Street

We’re planning to upgrade Hereford Street between Oxford Terrace and Manchester Street – here’s why we need to make changes.

These two city blocks were badly damaged by the Canterbury Earthquakes and later demolitions. We now have an opportunity to upgrade the street to provide an attractive setting for new and repaired buildings, with painted on-road cycle lanes and raised planters with seating and trees.

This section of Hereford Street is part of the 30 km/h central city zone which is slowing traffic speeds in the central city and providing a safer and more attractive street environment for all users.

Project objectives:

  • To replace the street’s badly damaged road and footpaths and repair damaged stormwater infrastructure
  • Improve the streetscape by providing street trees and some upgraded crossing points
  • Maintain a ‘local distributor’ street for general traffic – and to access new parking buildings along it
  • To support a key east-west bus route
  • Provide painted on-street cycle lanes to improve safety
  • Provide convenient night time small public service vehicle (taxi and Uber) stands to support local hospitality businesses
  • Provide some on-street servicing and mobility parking bays.

These objectives are outlined in the An Accessible City chapter(external link) of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, and the Christchurch Central Streets and Spaces Design Guide.

After engaging with key stakeholders, the Council’s Hereford Street project team developed the proposed scheme for the Hereford Street upgrade, which is explained in this booklet. It provides 5 metre wide footpaths where outdoor dining currently exists.  The proposal to move the dining on the southern side to the footpath edge will add to the vitality and attractiveness of this popular street. This proposal for upgrading the street provides an environment that supports people’s enjoyment of the public and private spaces in the city.

This project does not include work at the Hereford Street / Oxford Terrace intersection which is a separate project and has been approved by the Council.

What we’re proposing

Creating a vibrant street

More trees, seating and concrete pavers laid in a herringbone pattern will add interest to Hereford Street. Some areas of the footpath will use a different style of paving to reflect the historic water courses in this part of the central city.

Ornamental Callery pear trees, which have masses of blossom in spring, will be grown in raised planters. We have to use planters because of the dense underground cabling and pipes, which would be expensive, time consuming and disruptive to businesses to move.  In addition, two lime trees are planned at each end of the street.

 Proposed dining facilities outside the BNZ Centre on Hereford Street

Proposed dining facilities outside the BNZ Centre on Hereford Street

Benefits for pedestrians

The 5 metre wide footpath on the southern side in one block has enough space for some attractive outdoor dining areas at the footpath edge, while freeing up space along the building frontages for people to walk.  High numbers of pedestrians travelling along Hereford Street during the day and at night time between venues and to and from the new Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct and Promenade, will have a 3 metre wide footpath on both sides of the street.

Informal seating will also be provided on the tree planters giving pedestrians a place to sit and rest. Hospitality businesses may choose to put their own outdoor dining furniture on the new footpath-edge dining spaces.

Courtesy crossings will be provided between intersections. While pedestrians won’t have priority at these crossings, they do provide convenient, easy to spot points for people who want to cross the road, while also showing vehicle drivers where pedestrians are most likely to cross. Tactile pavers will assist those with disabilities.

Benefits for drivers and cyclists

Benefits for drivers

Hereford Street/Colombo Street vehicle movement

Hereford Street/Colombo Street vehicle movement

The traffic lanes have been slightly widened in the block between Colombo Street and Oxford Terrace from 3 metres (the pre-earthquake widths) to 3.25 metres. This is suitable for wider vehicles using Hereford Street, like buses, servicing trucks and some tour coaches. New off-street car parks can also be accessed directly from this length of Hereford Street.  Mobility parks are provided in these off-street car parks, as well as three mobility parks on Hereford Street itself.

Drivers travelling east on Hereford Street will not be permitted to turn into Colombo Street towards Cathedral Square or towards Lichfield Street. The existing right turn ban from Hereford Street into Colombo Street for drivers travelling west will be retained. These restrictions will help the flow of traffic along Hereford Street, which is consistent with Hereford Street being a local distributor street. It will also reduce the volume of traffic through Cathedral Square ahead of work starting on the restoration of ChristChurch Cathedral and the Square itself.

Benefits for cyclists

Hereford Street is not one of the central city’s key cycle streets where we provide a physically separated space. However, painted on-street cycle lanes (1.5 metre with a 0.3 metre buffer to the adjacent vehicle lane) will be included each side of Hereford Street providing a safe zone for cyclists who choose to travel along the street.

Cycle stands will also be provided for cyclists to secure their bikes.

Benefits for bus travellers

Two bus stops are located in the block between Colombo Street and Manchester Street. The bus route that currently uses this street is the No. 17 (Bryndwr – Huntsbury).

Benefits for businesses and shoppers

Hereford Street is within the 30 km/h slow speed zone of the central city.  The proposed scheme will make the street more business- and shopper-friendly by creating a quieter, pedestrian-focused environment. It will help improve the flow of shoppers and visitors between the new Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct and Promenade developments and the retail core.

As part of the project works we propose to widen Strand Lane between Hereford Street and Cathedral Square in association with adjacent developments – creating a more inviting pedestrian link. This is partly dependent on the sale of the demolished public toilets’ land. More information on this proposal is included in the Strand Lane section.

Hereford Street plan

Hereford Street Plan

Click to enlarge.

Parking

On-street parking, which is limited given the competition for space, prioritises stopping places for buses, small passenger vehicles (taxis and Uber), mobility parks, short-term pick-ups and drop-offs, and loading. Some paid 60 minute parking is also provided.

The number of on-street parking spaces will drop from 51 to 37. However, more than 900 off-street parking spaces are available in existing car park buildings on Hereford Street.  An additional car park building, with about 400 car parks, is planned at the Oxford Terrace end of Hereford Street.

Fourteen of the parking spaces at the Oxford Terrace end of Hereford Street will convert to small passenger vehicle stops during the night when taxis and Ubers are most in demand in this busy hospitality area.

Three on-street mobility parks will be provided on Hereford Street. Motorcycle parking will be located in Colombo Street, south of Hereford Street.

The proposed scheme’s parking layout aims to balance the need for outdoor dining space and parking and has been re-designed following some early feedback from Hereford Street businesses and property owners.

Proposed Hereford Streetscape   looking from the Ibis Hotel

Proposed Hereford Streetscape looking from the Ibis Hotel.

Strand Lane

Land sale proposal

Strand Lane 2007 (Google Maps)

Strand Lane 2007 (Google Maps)

The pre-earthquake plan to upgrade Hereford Street didn’t include an opportunity to improve the Strand Lane pedestrian connection between Hereford Street and Cathedral Square. With the new developments now planned in this area, the Council’s Hereford Street project team has been working with the adjacent land owners of Strand Lane on a proposal to provide a much wider lane.  This makes a more attractive pedestrian connection to and from Cathedral Square, and provides an opportunity for the adjacent land owners to make better use of the lane.  It is not intended that the lane be used by vehicles.

To widen Strand Lane, we propose to acquire a 1.7 metre-wide strip of land from the property owners each side of Strand Lane (9 Cathedral Square and 111 Hereford Street). We also need to use a 1.7 m wide strip of land of 13 Cathedral Square which is owned by the Council.  This was the site of the now demolished public restrooms. While both adjacent property owners agree in principle to the acquisition of their land, the owners to the west consider the Council acquisition on their side of the lane would restrict development of their site. They have suggested that should the Council be agreeable to the sale of the balance of the old Council-owned restrooms site to them (less a 1.7 metre strip retained by the Council for Strand Lane widening), then they would be in favour of the proposal because of the clear benefits for better pedestrian movement and the enhanced opportunity for their development.

We want to hear your feedback on this proposal to sell the balance of the land at 13 Cathedral Square (Lot 1 DP 9669) to the owners of 111 Hereford Street to enable development of the land for commercial use and to allow the widening of Strand Lane.

Artist’s impression of an enhanced Strand Lane

Artist’s impression of an enhanced Strand Lane

Proposed timeline

  • Consultation - 7 May - 14 August 2018
  • Project approval - October 2018
  • Detailed design - November 2018
  • Tender - November/December 2018
  • Construction complete - October 2019

Construction

If the Council approves the scheme design for Hereford Street upgrade, construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2019. This is to ensure kerbs and footpaths are completed before the new corner buildings open on Colombo Street at the southern entry of Cathedral Square. The start date for the Hereford Street upgrade works will be known following discussions with contractors.

A stormwater box culvert, situated below the northern footpath of Hereford Street (between Colombo Street and Oxford Terrace) needs to be replaced. This work will be undertaken at the same time as the roadworks.

The Council’s Hereford Street project team has discussed the programming of works with local businesses and property owners and will continue to work closely with them during construction to minimise disruption as much as possible.

We will be working with the contractor to maintain access to businesses and car parking buildings during the course of the works.

Drop-in sessions

If you have any questions about the proposed scheme design you can attend one of two presentation and drop-in sessions in the Council’s Function Room, First floor, Civic Offices, 53 Hereford Street, Christchurch.

Wednesday 25 July 2018, 5.30pm–7pm

Monday 30 July 2018, 12.30pm–2pm

Map location