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Scenarios aim to move more people without more vehicles

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) today released four scenarios for developing Wellington’s transport system and supporting the city’s growth while making it safer and easier for people to get around.

"Our work has shown we can’t solve Wellington’s transport problems by just building more roads.

We don’t have the space. We need a plan for all the ways people travel, so we can move more people without more vehicles," says Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme director Barry Mein.

LGWM’s approach includes:

- Prioritising routes in the central city for walking, public transport, and cycling

- Encouraging more people to walk, use public transport, and bike into/out of the central city

- Improving access to key regional destinations such as the hospital and airport while minimising the impact on the central city.

LGWM has developed four scenarios to show what could change.

"As a first step, the scenarios focus on significantly improving public transport, walking and cycling in the central city. This would encourage a shift in how people travel, a key factor in supporting a reduction in the city’s transport-related greenhouse emissions. It would also unlock potential regeneration along the public transport spine," says Mr Mein.

The scenarios build on each other, starting with a basic package, and adding more changes from one scenario to the next. The four scenarios are:

A. Prioritise public transport, walking and cycling in the central city

Reduce speed limits in the central city, prioritise key streets for public transport, walking and cycling to make travelling by bus quicker and to create a safer and more attractive environment for people walking and cycling.

B. Scenario A PLUS better connections to the east and south

An extra Mt Victoria tunnel and separating east-west traffic from other movements at the Basin Reserve would deliver faster and more reliable public transport connections, including mass transit (which could include light rail), to Newtown and the airport.

C. Scenario B PLUS less conflict with traffic and redevelopment opportunities in Te Aro

A new city tunnel under parts of Te Aro would reduce conflicts between people walking, cycling, and traffic, make bus travel more reliable, and provide urban redevelopment opportunities, including new buildings and public spaces above the tunnel.

D. Scenario C PLUS better access from the north, and less waterfront traffic

An extra Terrace Tunnel would improve access to and from the north and reduce traffic on the waterfront quays and through the central city, making it easier to access the waterfront.

The engagement document includes more information about each scenario. Scenarios are illustrative and don’t show detailed designs, which would be developed later in the programme. See www.getwellymoving.co.nz for further information, including how scenarios reflect LGWM’s principles.

"While preparing these scenarios, we have investigated future demand for mass transit (which could include light rail) and the best route for it to take," says Mr Mein.

"Our work confirms that the best route for mass transit is from the railway station to Newtown and Kilbirnie/airport via the Golden Mile and Basin Reserve."

"To significantly improve bus transport and provide for mass transit, changes would need to be made at the Basin Reserve and through Mt Victoria so public transport vehicles don’t get held up by other traffic."

Scenarios B, C, and D include bridges and/or tunnels to separate conflicting transport movements around the Basin and an extra tunnel through Mt Victoria, providing for mass transit. Scenario A, which has improvements to the existing layout at the Basin without tunnels and/or bridges, does not provide for mass transit.

"Our engagement document shows some high-level ideas on how tunnels and/or bridges around the Basin Reserve might work. Further investigation, design and consultation would be needed before detailed Basin options are developed," says Mr Mein.

"Scenario A is the quickest and cheapest to construct, but would deliver limited benefits. As the scenarios grow towards Scenario D, they would deliver more benefits, including travel time savings and more opportunities to regenerate and develop the city. They would also have greater costs, more construction disruption, and greater impacts on properties and on-street parking."

Scenario: A / B-/  C- / D-

Estimated cost / $150m - 200m / $700m - $900m / $1.5b - $1.8b / $1.9 - $2.3b

Time to construct / 1.5 - 2.5 years / 5 - 7 years /  7 - 10 years / 10+ years

- Estimated costs include enhanced bus mass transit infrastructure for Scenarios B, C, and D. Light rail infrastructure would add a further $350m - $500m to B, C, and D and increase construction time by about 18 months.

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