K' Road customers going elsewhere because of bus lanes

When Lambs Pharmacy was established in 1839, Karangahape Road was serviced by horse and cart, then came trams, then trolley buses, then regular buses all bringing customers and trade.

My family has owned Lambs Pharmacy for 30 years. It is also a postal centre and an Ayurvedic natural health clinic.

Each of the changes to K' Road have impacted our loyal customers: cycleway construction; removing parking, adding a second bus stop to the block, and only leaving a loading zone; the cycleway making loading access dangerous between moving cycles and a lack of trolley access across the garden; now only four hours per day loading zone access, without bus lanes 11am and 3pm.

The imposed restrictions do not coincide with the real traffic flow or the Mayor’s rush hour times – 7am to 9am (northern side) and 4.30pm to 6.30pm (southern side).

NZ Post pickup was 6pm, but after parking removal, it became 4.30pm, with bus lane restrictions it is now 2.30pm.

Inconveniently, my customers have effectively lost half a day to prepare legal documents and other courier services. Auckland Transport is interfering with the ‘King's Mail', impacting people’s lives and livelihoods, whilst sitting in their ivory towers making these decisions on a whim without practical knowledge. A stopping exception for NZ Post would allow it to go back to the end of the day for those legal practices.

There is one disabled car park across the busy street but AT’s designs and decisions lack common sense or compassion for those who are ill or disabled. Pharmacy patients, who are often less mobile, can no longer stop to quickly pick up prescriptions.

Clinic patients used to be able to park close by or be dropped off outside the pharmacy. Restricted stopping hours and the dangerous obstacle course from the road (mount a kerb, cross a garden, mount another kerb, cross the cycleway with bikes and scooters whizzing in both directions) before they get to the safety of the pharmacy, means many have chosen to go elsewhere.

K' Road has already lost 30-year businesses including O’Malley’s Menswear after the cycleway inception and the Army Surplus at the end of February.

We were told that restricting the road to one lane would mean that heavy vehicles would no longer travel along K' Road. We weren’t told that nearly empty buses would outnumber the rest of the vehicles. Some of these buses were meant to return to their old route down Pitt Street. Hopefully, they will do so once the CRL opens but we can’t continue like this for two years.

Suresh and Anish Rama, Lambs Pharmacy, K' Road

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Published: March 2024