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Bold Decisions Required for Wellington City

6 December 2007

Bold Decisions Required for Wellington City Transport

The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce is strongly supportive of some of the initiatives contained in the consultation document released today on the Ngauranga to Airport Strategic Study.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to cement Wellington’s reputation as the most desirable city to live and the most efficient place to do business in New Zealand,” said Chamber CEO, Charles Finny.

“Congestion is already bad, but population growth suggests that it is going to get much worse. This strengthens the case for acting now and investing in essential transport infrastructure.

“The population figures on which the options are based are already out of date. Statistics New Zealand’s latest population projections for Wellington City in 2026, released earlier this week, are around 10% higher than the ones in the document.

“We will study the options in the document carefully but our initial reaction is that all of the following are necessary to improve Wellington’s transport system:

- Less congestion as this is a major cause of CO2 emissions
- Two extra lanes between Ngauranga and Aotea Quay
- A second Terrace tunnel
- Improved bus and rail links to the city and within the city. Links to the Newtown/hospital area must be a priority here
- Major work done on Basin Reserve interchanges
- A second road tunnel through Mount Victoria
- Four lanes along both Ruahine Street and Wellington Road
- Improved safety for cyclists and pedestrians

“This is an extensive list but transport investment should be a priority. We see real scope for private sector involvement in this construction to ensure that it can be completed more quickly and to help meet the price.

“The councils involved and central government should also be prepared to use more debt to fund the projects so that the cost is spread over future rate-payers who will benefit from them. We also support tolling, congestion pricing and cordon pricing to raise revenue and to make this new transport system operate more efficiently.

“We are very pleased that Greater Wellington, Transit New Zealand and Wellington City agree that big and bold decisions are needed. The Chamber is looking for this type of leadership and will be strongly supportive of progress on these projects,” Mr Finny concluded.

ENDS

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