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Cobham Drive Crossing Doesn’t Stack Up

There is insufficient evidence to support a pedestrian crossing and consequent speed reductions on Cobham Drive, the State Highway 1 route to and from Wellington airport, says Road Transport Forum (RTF) chief executive Nick Leggett.

Submissions close this week on Let’s Get Wellington Moving’s proposed crossing on Cobham Drive and lowering of speeds on State Highway 1, east of Mt Victoria. The RTF is part of a group of Wellington businesses and stakeholders frustrated by Let’s Get Wellington Moving’s progress and focus.

"I’ve said before, Let’s Get Wellington Moving is a misnomer and to get things moving, we’ve got to stop slowing things down," Leggett says.

"This is our main state highway and vital route to Wellington’s airport, we don’t want to see time added to that journey without strong evidence, which is currently missing in action.

"We believe all road users need to operate in an environment where road safety, the impacts of transport on our environment, and the transport of goods by road can co-exist and we proactively participate in central and local government conversations about how this can happen.

"What is concerning is that they talk, but they don’t listen. And they can’t produce sufficient evidence to substantiate significant changes to the roading network that favour cyclists and pedestrians over motorists, and spend vast amounts of rate and tax payer dollars.

"We believe they are talking about spending around $1 million for a raised pedestrian crossing, with lights, for a handful of people who might want to cross this road where they don’t need to. This will disadvantage the 35,000 vehicles that typically use Cobham Drive every day.

"We have seen no cost-benefit analyses to underpin this crossing and we know that a controlled pedestrian crossing will further slow traffic on this vital route - to a stop when the lights are red and to a crawl to get over the raised crossing.

"The guise of road safety can’t be taken to mean safety at any cost and we don’t believe New Zealanders have signed up for that.

"We believe Let’s Get Wellington Moving has missed one critical scenario in its planning, that of doing nothing and maintaining the status quo. It jumped straight to a starting point of delivering a crossing, regardless of justification and cost.

"We urge Let’s Get Wellington Moving to develop and provide a more balanced case on the impacts of this proposal on all parties, and in particular to provide quality data on the economic and social impacts," Leggett says.

The RTF submission to Let’s Get Wellington Moving is available here.

About Road Transport Forum New Zealand (RTF)

RTF provides unified national representation for several regional trucking associations. RTF members include Road Transport Association NZ, National Road Carriers, and NZ Trucking Association. The affiliated representation of the RTF is about 3,000 individual road transport companies which in turn, operate 16-18,000 trucks involved in road freight transport, as well as companies that provide services allied to road freight transport.

The road freight transport industry employs 32,868 people (2.0% of the workforce), has a gross annual turnover of $6 billion, and transports 93% of the total tonnes of freight moved in New Zealand.

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