Let’s Not Get Wellington Moving…

So the Wellington City Council has passed its 20 year transport plan to bring mass transit and other transport improvements to the capital. The councillors have all patted one another on the back, calling this a ‘game changer’ and ‘climate change in action’… and that should send shivers down the spine of every Wellington ratepayer. There is good reason; the WCC’s shiny new transport policy is centred around… wait for it… getting more people cycling, walking and onto public transport.

Wellington City Council has joined the regional council in passing a 20-year transport plan to bring mass transit and other transport improvements to Wellington.
Brian Dawson called Let’s Get Wellington Moving “a game-changer”, Iona Pannett said it was “climate change action in practice”, Simon Woolf exclaimed that Minister Phil Twyford had “shown us the money”, and Deputy Mayor Jill Day told colleagues they risked over-consulting the public if they didn’t pass it.
At the end of it all, councillors were unanimous in approving the $6.4 billion LGWM plan to unblock congestion between Ngauranga Gorge and the airport by getting more people walking, cycling and using public transport.

Wow, that really is a game changer. Try walking up Ngauranga Gorge… or cycling down it. Try getting your children to school on the back of a bike. Try getting to the other end of town from the Hutt Valley in less than 2 hours on public transport. Oh, and let’s not forget those wonderful changes to the Wellington bus timetable last year that turned a normal 20 minute commute into a 2 hour journey with 3 bus changes for some commuters. I see the lunatics are still running the asylum at Wellington City Council.

Opening the debate Mayor Justin Lester evoked Wellington’s history of transport “misadventures and missed opportunities” in a bid to encourage his fellow councillors to vote LGWM in without any amendments that would change the “indicative package” approved by cabinet.

He exhaustively took councillors through the tunnels that had been aborted and the roading projects left undone as governments and Wellington councils changed direction.

“I want to send a strong signal to cabinet that Wellington has finally got it’s s..t together.”

There is certainly a lot of bovine excrement in this proposal, but whether it is ‘together’ or hitting fans all over the place is a matter of opinion.

The vote gives the green light to a number of “early delivery” projects including: a central city walking programme, cycling improvements, lower speeds in the CBD, a pedestrian crossing on Cobham Dr, and bus priority on Thorndon Quay, Hutt Rd and the Golden Mile.

Yep. Pedestrian crossings on Cobham Drive – that’s the main route from town to the airport for non-Wellington people – will really ‘get Wellington moving’. An already heavily congested area is about to become even more heavily congested.

You really couldn’t make this stuff up.

In the longer term council voted to approve investigations and business cases into rapid transit to the airport, an extra Mt Victoria tunnel, Basin Reserve roading traffic separating improvements, walkability projects, cycleways through the city from Kent Terrace to Bowen St, turning the Golden Mile and Waterfront Quays into a dual public transport spine, and integrated ticketing across public transport systems.

So there is some extra roading in the long term plan, but, Wellington needs it now. If the Melling (Lower Hutt) plan is anything to go by, where a rickety bridge built in the 1930s is scheduled to be replaced in 2028, let’s not get our hopes up for a second Mt Victoria tunnel just yet.

Diane Calvert, proposed over a dozen amendments – including a request for a regional fuel tax, expedited Basin Reserve improvements and the a quicker start to the second Mt Victoria tunnel – and said WCC should still push for more even if it angered the government. 

Great idea, Diane. Let’s fleece motorists even further while giving them nothing but vague promises about road improvements next century. That will make your ratepayers happy.

And Andy Foster argued there wasn’t enough detail in the LGWM proposal, that it was unaffordable and wouldn’t improve transport outcomes for everyone across the city.
“If you’re a motorist it’s actually not going to get Wellington moving.”

Stuff.


At least somebody gets it. Just about all walkers and cyclists at some point are motorists too, and a cyclist in Wellington City really does take his life into his own hands on some of those terribly congested roads. More cycleways will just make them even more congested. Nobody seems to get this.

During the last local council election campaign, there were signs everywhere from prospective councillors, saying things like ‘4 Lanes to the Planes’ and “Let’s Get Wellington Moving”… and the same bunch of Green zealots were voted back in. Since then, they have created rainbow crossings, declared a climate emergency and done away with Guy Fawkes. Wellington gets more and more congested by the day, and no one is doing anything about it. This ‘game changing’ plan will do nothing about it either.

Come on Wellington. Let’s vote these clowns out before the entire city is brought to a grinding halt. We are almost there now. Let’s really do something before the city is damaged by these idiots forever.

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