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Wellingtonians keen to get their city moving, says Mayor

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellingtonians want better public transport and fewer cars in more liveable central city streets and are backing a number of exciting plans to get the capital moving, says Wellington Mayor Justin Lester.

Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM), a joint initiative between Wellington City Council, Wellington Regional Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency, has today released the results of a survey of residents (ranging from inner city to the wider Wellington region) on the city’s transport problems.

It shows there is:

- 63 percent support for light rail to the airport via Newtown (13 percent oppose)

- 62 percent support for bus rapid transit on major routes (7 percent oppose)

- 62 percent support for an extra Mt Victoria tunnel, with separate cycling and walking lanes (9 percent oppose)

- 57 percent for dedicated public transport lanes on the Golden Mile (11 percent oppose)

- 56 percent support for a tunnel under Te Aro for State Highway 1 traffic (11 percent oppose)

- 53 percent support for a tunnel under the Basin Reserve (11 percent oppose).

At least two-thirds of people were affected by at least one of the following: slow car trips through the city, slow bus trips, too many cars, cycling or walking safety.

"The survey shows just how many Wellingtonians are affected by transport problems and they want us to do something," the Mayor says.

"The single biggest thing they want us to tackle is improving public transport, and many are telling us that without having to be asked."

"There is most support for light rail to the airport and bus rapid transit, which shows people want other options than cars," Mayor Lester says.

"We need to invest to deliver the things they want, such as increased frequency, better reliability and cheaper fares so we can have a city less dominated by cars."

Mayor Lester noted the strong support for a second Mt Victoria tunnel and a Te Aro tunnel, but also support for a second Terrace tunnel (49 percent support, 15 percent oppose).

"People want an arterial route that takes traffic off Vivian Street and Karo Drive and out of the heart of the city."

Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, who is on the LGWM governance group and holds the Council’s transport strategy portfolio, also welcomed the public mood for better public transport and getting cars out of the city.

"It comes as no surprise that there’s strong support for a game-changing improvement to public transport, especially light rail from Wellington to the southern and eastern suburbs," he says.

"It’s also no surprise that business interests in the eastern and southern suburbs and commuters who are not going into the city centre want the extra capacity of a second tunnel.

"After what must seem like a long period of gestation we are getting to an exciting stage where Wellingtonians will be able to see an agreed programme of investment and see something started.

"Wellingtonians will look forward to reaching a stage of the project where indeed we can get Wellington moving."

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