Media Releases

Melling traffic can only get worse

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Business needs Melling and Wellington needs business

Sit on SH2 any day of the week and you’ll see business happening all around you. Hutt Valley businesses are delivering products and services to customers, to you, all over the Wellington region, other parts of the country and even around the world.

As you sit at the Melling lights you might see windows stacked on a truck from an Upper Hutt window manufacturer on their way to a Wellington landlord, tenant, homeowner or fellow business. A plethora of builders, plumbers, electricians, landscapers and others are out and about in utes and trucks delivering materials and their skilled workers to where they’re needed. Hutt Valley businesses are building houses, fixing leaking pipes, installing solar power, delivering groceries, fridges, lounge suites and trading with many other businesses. Wherever you look on SH2, there is business underway, with customers keenly waiting at the other end.

Wellington relies on these businesses, who in turn, rely on SH2 and the Melling interchange; roading infrastructure that is unfit for purpose. Many Hutt Valley businesses are struggling right now to reliably and cost-effectively deliver their products and services and meet the expectation of their customers. The business community already knows first-hand our roads are failing us on a daily basis. Melling and SH2 and SH58 are congested and this needs addressing.

Pause for a minute and think about the opening of Transmission Gully in just under 12 months’ time. This much-needed road will be bringing substantial additional traffic to SH2 and in volumes that have been seriously underestimated. Before we see a “revised traffic study” that “proves the projected increase in traffic on SH58 (when Transmission Gully opens) is 19%” think about all the previous reports that estimate “around a 30% increase in SH58 when Transmission Gully opens.” Every single one of these reports, studies and business cases I’ve read so far states the projected impact of Transmission Gully on SH58 and SH2 is based on the assumption that the Petone to Grenada road opens in April 2020! The “safety improvements” that are meant to be completed by April 2020 on SH58 also are designed on the same assumption.

All these reports are now out of date and while there will no doubt be new reports commissioned, in between times, we already know the estimates of either 19% or 30% are completely wrong. Not only was Petone to Grenada removed from the equation earlier this year, what’s also not factored in is the:

  • Hutt Valley and Wellington region’s population growth
  • Increased demand for Hutt Valley housing (tried to secure a rental recently?)
  • Heavy transport sector keenly waiting on Transmission Gully to open so they can use SH58 to get to the Hutt Valley
  • New residential and commercial developments being mooted for SH58 as soon as Transmission Gully opens.

Expect a large portion of that Transmission Gully traffic to be joining you at the lights at Melling soon.