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Letter to the Mayor from Provincial Secretary William Rolleston, discussing proposed road through Hagley Park 1867. Christchurch City Council Archives Inwards Letters

Archives Reference

CH 343, item 9a, folio 260

Master Transportation Plan proposal for motorway through Hagley Park, figures 1 & 2

Archives Reference

CH 134 file 8/3/35 - Reserves - Hagley Park 1962 - 1970

Tracing and colouring of a map of Hagley Park, originally from 1850, to illustrate the Public Domains Amendment Act 1895 and the proposed Harper Ave deviation 1970.

Archives Reference

CH 134 file 8/3/35 - Reserves - Hagley Park 1970 - 1971

Harper Ave deviation, showing on and off ramps at Fendalton Road and Salisbury Street; tracing on aerial photo. Christchurch City Council Archives

Archives Reference

CH 470 Box 3 Roading and Engineering - Avonside Expressway 1 file 1980

Model of proposed Harper Ave deviation, looking West from Deans Ave. Christchurch City Council Archives

Archives Reference

CH 470 Box 3 Roading and Engineering - Avonside Expressway 1 file 1980

Close up of model of proposed Harper Ave deviation, looking East from the Salisbury Street connection through new section of motorway across Hagley Park. Christchurch City Council Archives

Archives Reference

CH 470 Box 3 Roading and Engineering - Avonside Expressway 1 file 1980

Report of the Works and Services Committee on the Harper Ave deviation, recommending that the council continue with the project, despite the 7,827 objections against it. Tabled 27/4/1970. Christchurch City Council Archives

Archives Reference

CH 380 No 1 Minute Bk, item 128 folio 61351 p"B" 1970

Plan of proposed Harper Ave deviation, 1970

Archives Reference

CH 134 File 8/3/35 - Reserves - Hagley Park 1962 - 1970

A Road Through the Park

Of all the contentious issues raised over the years, none has been more controversial than those involving proposals to put roadways through the Park. An 1868 proposal to continue Armagh Street into the Park was eventually dropped. The idea of setting out a road for carriages and horses in the manner of those in Hyde Park was mooted over the years but specific proposals were rejected, as was a proposal to set out a cycle track around the Park in 1897. The mania for cycling was soon replaced by a mania for the motorcar and the requirements of the motorcar and motorists have caused the greatest disputes since then. Automobiles first attempted to enter the Park in 1904 when it was proposed to put in a road to allow cars a scenic drive; this was a more sedate age when the Park was seen as a destination rather than an obstacle on the way to somewhere else.

The single biggest controversy concerning the Park began slowly in the 1950s with the development of the Master Transportation Plan for the greater Christchurch area. Initial planning called for the Fendalton - Avonside Motorway to run through North Hagley Park from the Fendalton Road/Deans avenue intersection to just south of the Salisbury Street/Park Terrace intersection. This was not intended to replace Harper Avenue or part of it. Subsequent modifications to the plans in the later 1960s involved the diversion of the end of Harper Avenue away from Carlton Mill Bridge across a corner of the Park to link with the one way system at Salisbury Street. The former city end of the avenue would be removed and the section landscaped. Harper Avenue was widened in 1969 and work on the deviation began in 1970. The relevant authorities did their best to provide information to the public on the nature of the changes but the subsequent outcry from opponents to the scheme and the 1971 local body election result put a stop to the work.

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