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No to tunnels – yes to public transport

Councillors Iona Pannett and Celia Wade-Brown

Media release

No to tunnels – yes to public transport

30th April 2008

“Overwhelming public support for light rail, buses, walking and cycling and opposition to increased roading capacity through the Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Study consultation process is good news for Wellington,” said Wellington City Councillors Iona Pannett and Celia Wade-Brown.

“More than 4,600 submissions were received; over 3,750 were in favour of more public transport whilst opposing additional tunnels through Mt Victoria and under the existing Terrace Tunnel and a flyover around the Basin Reserve.

In contrast, a campaign organised by the Chamber of Commerce garnered around 480 submissions supporting additional roading capacity. It is positive however to see that those supporting this campaign also gave support to increased public transport,” said Cr Pannett.

“Given that Wellington City has made a commitment to carbon neutrality amid a climate of ever higher oil prices, there needs to be serious investment in walking, cycling, light rail and buses,” said Cr Wade-Brown.

“We would be concerned about the possibility of public cynicism arising from this process if the results from the consultation are ignored. The public understands that we have made a commitment to carbon neutrality, we need to take action to make this vision a reality now and transport is a key area where we need to reduce our emissions. Increasing roading capacity is not the most effective way to achieve this goal,” said Cr Pannett.

“Results from Stage Two of the consultation mirror results from Stage One which emphasised greater emphasis on public transport, walking, cycling and protection of the city’s urban form,” said Cr Wade-Brown. “It is clear from the consultation also that people are concerned that more roading capacity and tunnels will encourage more use of the private vehicle at a time we need to be encouraging people to use alternatives.

“This feedback is very useful as Council considers what exact package of options should go out for public consultation later in the year. We look forward to hearing further from the public,” said Cr Wade-Brown.


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