If you are, now's the time to send a strong message to central and local government that we need action on a plan to bring Wellington's creaking transport system into the 21st century.
Recently, the Get Wellington Moving group, made up of representatives from the Regional Council, Wellington City Council and NZ Transport Agency, released 4 scenarios on how to get Wellington transport moving. The scenarios involve better roading, public transport and walking and cycling options in a much more integrated plan.
The scenarios range from a limited change option, costing around $150m-$200m, to the most comprehensive change option, costing around $1.9b-$2.3b. While the figures are eye watering, Wellington transport improvements in the past have been littered with underinvestment (the Mt Victoria tunnel was built 100 years ago) and short sighted cost savings (the Terrace Tunnel only wide enough to take 1 lane of traffic travelling south.)
The previous debate on the overpass at the Basin Reserve was dominated by groups in the central city, with virtually no input from the rest of the region. But it's not just an issue for Wellington city to decide. The major roading improvements are along the state highway, linking the wider region with Wellington South (the Hospital) and East (the airport) and of course access to the regional CBD (where many people from the Hutt work). Hutt Valley's voice must be heard this time.
A lot of Hutt people will be attracted to Option D, which includes an extra Terrace tunnel, a tunnel along the inner city bypass towards Kent and Cambridge Terraces, tunnels or bridges at the Basin Reserve, an extra tunnel through Mt Victoria, with high priority public transport corridors for buses or light rail, and greater opportunities for walking and cycling in the inner city.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fix Wellington's transport problems that have plagued the region for decades. The plan will mean faster and more reliable journey times for motorists, faster and more reliable public transport that should encourage more people who can to leave their cars at home, and to significantly improve walking and cycling around the city which should really make it the liveable city people want it to be.
But none of this will happen without your voice being heard.
Don't delay. Go to the www.getwellymoving.co.nz, click the "Have Your Say" tab and get started. Future generations will thank you for it.
There will be a community information session at the "Walter Nash Centre", 20/22 Taine Street, Taita, Lower Hutt, on Wednesday, November 22nd from 4pm till 7pm.
Greater Wellington Regional