Auckland CBD to trial pedestrian-only street next week

Cars won't be allowed to travel down High Street in central Auckland on Thursday, the first step in a move to pedestrianise large sections of the CBD.

Auckland councillors last month voted unanimously in favour of trialling pedestrian-only streets, including Queen St.

Planning Committee chair Chris Darby said trialling a car-free High St will provide a taste of things to come.

"[It is] the first of many bold and exciting ideas that celebrate the changing face of our city centre," he said.

Urban designer George Weeks previously told councillors that the initiative would prioritise public transport, walking and cycling.

"Over the next decade public transport capacity will increase by up to 370 per cent with rail, light rail, buses and ferries bringing hundreds of thousands of people into the city," he said.

"Fundamentally, the heart of the Queen St valley becomes the most accessible place in the whole of New Zealand. By removing the discretionary layer of car traffic you free-up street space to other functions."

Pedestrians walk down Vulcan Lane in Auckland. Source: