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Some councillors ignore ratepayers over second Mt Vic tunnel

Wellington City Councillors have ignored the wishes of the majority of ratepayers over priorities in the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project, says Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

"The decision by the majority of councillors to vote down an amendment to bring forward the second Mt Victoria tunnel in the project’s timeline flies in the face of what surveys tell us businesses and citizens wanted," says Chief Executive John Milford.

"It’s clear the biggest congestion problem in Wellington’s transport system is at the Basin Reserve, and last year when ratepayers were asked to make a choice, by far the most favoured option was the one that included a second tunnel at Mt Victoria to ease the awful bottlenecks, but the majority of councillors have ignored that.

"The Mayor and five councillors could see how important a second tunnel is to getting traffic flowing smoothly, particularly to the airport and the eastern suburbs, and we applaud them for that, but it seems the others can’t see that.

"It’s a pity that some councillors talk about keeping politics out of the issue and then vote along political lines to the detriment of the whole region.

"This vote basically puts a bit of handbrake on the project and I hope it’s not a sign of things to come.

"On a more positive note, at least the councillors, along with Wellington regional councillors, voted unanimously to advance funding to get the business case investigations for the whole project under way, as part of a new relationship and funding agreement.

"Hopefully that will guide LGWM on the best sequencing, including mass rapid transit and state highway improvements and put an end to the delays so we can get on with it.

"It was also pleasing to see the councils agree to fund the Bus Priority Action Plan through LGWM’s City Streets package.

"Business endorses the programme of ‘early wins’, including greater pedestrianisation of the Golden Mile, more bus priority lane work, and lower inner city speeds."


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