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Wellingtonians given options to keep city on move

MEDIA RELEASE
6 December 2007

Wellingtonians asked to comment on options to keep city on the move

Wellingtonians are being asked to think about transport issues and comment on a range of options to keep the city on the move for the next 30 years.

Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Transit New Zealand are working together to address transport issues between the bottom of Ngauranga Gorge and the airport and hospital with the Ngauranga to Airport Strategic Study. Stage two of this study asks the public to consider a range of transport initiatives and say which they prefer and why. The feedback will help the study team come up with a draft plan to address the region’s future transport needs.

Possible options outlined in the consultation document released today (6 December) include further improvements to the bus system, investing in light rail, building additional tunnels at The Terrace and Mt Victoria, improving Basin Reserve access and widening Adelaide Road.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast says planning for the future is crucial because the city’s transport system is nearing capacity and traffic is increasing 3 to 4% every year.

“Wellington is a vibrant, internationally competitive city and we want to keep it that way,” she says. “That means coming up with a plan that’s possible, practical and will fit people’s requirements. We know a mix of roading and public transport improvements, plus changes to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, are required.

“To help us come up with that mix, we want to hear from people who live in the city, commute in or visit on a regular basis. They will all appreciate some of the issues and constraints the city faces and the importance of having effective roading and public transport systems that will get them where they want to go as quickly as possible.”

In coming up with the options included in the latest report, the study team was guided by the key transport issues that Wellingtonians identified during the first stage of consultation last year, as well as the New Zealand Transport Strategy and Regional Land Transport Strategy.

Both strategies seek to achieve an affordable, integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable transport system. These measures will help reduce the use of non-renewable energy resources and greenhouse gas emissions from projected levels, assisting in Wellington’s bid to become carbon-neutral.

Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Fran Wilde says the Ngauranga to airport link is a vital part of the Regional Land Transport Strategy.

“This is a precious opportunity to create a seamless and sustainable transport system that meets the needs of a growing region and economy and, equally important, contributes to the sustainability of the region’s transport system. It could be a significant step on the path to a carbon neutral region.

“I’m confident that the people of Greater Wellington will take a keen interest in this exciting initiative and give us a lot of enlightened, informed and enthusiastic feedback.”

Transit New Zealand Board Chairman Bryan Jackson says with Wellington’s population set to grow over the next 20 years from 179,000 in 2007 to a projected 204,000 by 2026, a smart plan containing a mix of improvements will be essential to avoid congestion and delays.

“Your feedback will help us determine what the priorities are and come up with a draft plan that Wellingtonians will be asked to comment on next year. This is something that affects us all so we want people to consider the possibilities and tell us which ones they prefer and why,” he says.

Copies of the document are available from Wellington city libraries, Transit New Zealand’s regional office and online at www.Wellington.govt.nz. Feedback is required by Friday 22 February and can be made online at www.Wellington.govt.nz

An extended consultation period is planned to give people more time to respond and recognises the busy Christmas holiday period ahead.

ENDS


Web www.transit govt.nz Web www.Wellington.govt.nz

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