Auckland City leaders, including Mayor John Banks, are backing away from radical changes to Dominion Rd which have had the local community in an uproar.

Mr Banks has confirmed that he will today accept a Save Dominion Rd petition - which organisers say has been signed by more than 5000 people - and that he intends supporting the petitioners.

The petition calls for the city council to abandon plans to remove all street parking along 4.5km of Dominion Rd outside peak hours. Neither do the petitioners want the road widened for cycle-only lanes, nor the introduction of restrictions against right turns.

The changes have been listed in an $83 million package of proposals on which the council has received 1250 submissions in a consultation round due to close on Sunday.

Petition organiser Penny Hickey said yesterday that the community would be happy with some simple changes, such as a possible minor extension of hours for existing bus lanes, and running these through intersections where general traffic is allowed to occupy two lanes each way.

But she said local residents and business owners had been horrified by a council proposal to turn them into 24-hour lanes, and to open them to any vehicle with two or more occupants, while banning all parking. "This road has been blighted for 20 years by designation and held back from investment," said Ms Hickey, a resident of a side street off Dominion Rd who teaches English to migrants.

"We want Dominion Rd back, we want the designation removed and we want a secure future."

The designation is to allow the council to widen the road by between one and two metres in "mid-block" sections apart from shopping centres between View Rd and Denbigh Ave.

Mr Banks confirmed his support for the petitioners, although he said he had yet to read their petition.

Asked what he envisaged for Dominion Rd, he said he wanted to tell the local community first.

His indication of a major rethink comes after the council has spent $15 million buying properties and $1.5 million on design work.

City transport committee chairman Ken Baguley intended recommending to his committee next week, at its last meeting before it dissolves, that the new Auckland Council be advised of a need to redesign the scheme.

Although there would be no time for staff to present a report on the public submissions, he said of the scheme: "At the end of the day it has to be acceptable to the local community and we have received a signal long and hard that it's not acceptable."