Things to do, Transport options  |  15 Feb 2023

Christchurch and Lyttelton residents are being advised to plan ahead and expect travel routines to be affected during the upcoming ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix.

With thousands set to watch the March 18-19 event from the village at Te Nukutai o TapoaNaval Point, organisers are gearing up for a busy weekend.

SailGP has prepared a traffic management plan (TMP) with input from Christchurch City Council, ChristchurchNZ, Waka Kotahi, local businesses and other stakeholders.

The TMP takes into account solutions to manage congestion, parking, safety, emergency access, resident access, and transport options for ticket holders during the event weekend. The aim of the TMP is to facilitate movement for residents and event attendees, and to prevent issues of traffic and congestion on the transport network. 

During race weekend, restrictions will be put in place from midday until around 6pm on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March.

There will be restricted access to Lyttelton for motor vehicles during this time, with entry to Lyttelton blocked from Sumner and Governors Bay. Between 12pm and 6pm closures, only emergency vehicles, official event vehicles (buses and branded shuttles), taxis and vehicles with a clearly-displayed pass will be able to access Lyttelton. 

Once within Lyttelton, there will also be a checkpoint on Godley Quay which will only allow permitted event vehicles (e.g. staff and suppliers) to the site.

Those walking to the event from the Lyttelton township can use a new shared path from Lyttelton, down to Naval Point. Cycle access to Lyttelton will not be affected by the restrictions and at all times traffic will be able to leave Lyttelton via the Tunnel, Governors Bay Road and Evans Pass Road.

Emergency vehicles will be able to pass through road closures at all times, as will public buses.

Lyttelton residents and businesses will be able to access their homes and workplaces during the access restriction period via Bridle Path Road on both days using an allocated vehicle access pass.

Affected households will be issued one pass via mail this month and are asked to please display the pass clearly in their windscreen when traveling through the access point on Bridle Path Road to ensure marshals can wave them through in a timely manner.

Businesses that require passes for their employees and/or contractors and suppliers will also be able to access additional passes.

In the central city, there will be some traffic management in place surrounding the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix live site, powered by Enable - a free fanzone at the Green, between Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre and Cathedral Square. Some traffic management will be in place to facilitate a safe pick up and drop off area for official event shuttles, and taxi pick-up and drop-off on Worcester Boulevard.