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Progress Wellington Coalition Launches To Get Wellington Actually Moving

A coalition of committed Wellington businesses, stakeholders and industry groups concerned about the focus and progress of Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) has launched today. Progress Wellington has come together because of a shared concern that LGWM is no longer focused on getting Wellington’s transport network moving forward.

The group includes retailers, restaurants, cafes, transport operators, service providers, and businesses, calling for outcomes that will ensure Wellington actually gets moving.

"What Wellington needs is a transport system where people can move easily and safely at all times of the day," says Simon Arcus, Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive. "It needs to be inclusive, a Wellington that works for everyone. This group has been brought together to find a way through the current concerns with LGWM. We need to speed up the major infrastructure projects, those that will achieve the aims of getting Wellingtonians moving, rather than on the projects that are slowing things down - we can’t grind our city to a halt."

"We need a moving, liveable and thriving city for all Wellingtonians, but the current piecemeal proposals won’t get us this," says Greg Harford, RetailNZ Chief Executive. "We are looking for a plan that gives us confidence in what has been proposed - but we remain to be convinced."

"So far LGWM has failed to understand and recognise many of the significant adverse impacts that the current proposals will have on Wellingtonians and its communities, like the Golden Mile, Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road, and Cobham Drive projects. What do all these projects have in common? A lack of data, economic analysis, and little understanding of how it will impact on the city, it’s people, and the business community."

"In a Covid-impacted operating environment, we need to be laser focused on the real drivers that will get Wellingtonians back into using the CBD - making it harder to use and connect with the city won’t bring our heart and vibrancy back."

Today members from Progress Wellington, along with a number of other local Wellington South and East businesses and business groups, placed a full-page campaign advertisement in the Dominion Post on the current LGWM proposal for the Cobham Drive project.

"If LGWM goes ahead with their plans to reduce the speed limits on Cobham Drive and add a set of traffic lights, more than 35,000 Wellingtonians will be impacted, while the best and safest solution for pedestrians and cyclists will be ignored," says Steve Sanderson, Chief Executive of Wellington Airport.

"As the advert says, LGWM needs to do this once, and do it right - build an overpass or underpass instead."

"If they want to get Wellington moving, they’ve got to stop trying to slow everything down," says Nick Leggett, Chief Executive of the Road Transport Forum.

"This is the key and critical route to Wellington Airport and into the city from Wellington South and East. Let’s not install a pedestrian crossing, let’s do the job properly so it’s safer and faster for everyone. The case must be made that there is going to be real benefit. We strongly advocated that the other SH1 improvements be prioritised given the impact currently had on traffic flows through this area."

In addition to today’s advert on Cobham Drive, Progress Wellington will be campaigning for sensible outcomes on the other LGWM proposals.

Progress Wellington is a coalition of businesses, stakeholders and industry groups frustrated by "Let’s Get Wellington Moving" progress and focus. Organisations that are members of the coalition include:

-Wellington Chamber of Commerce

-Retail NZ

-Hospitality NZ

-Restaurant Association

-Property Council

-Road Transport Forum

-SOS Courtenay Place

-Wellington Airport

- Porirua Chamber of Commerce

Additionally, the following businesses and business groups have supported the Cobham Drive advert published in the Dominion Post:

-Kilbirnie Business Network

-Enterprise Miramar

-Weta Digital

-Eko Cabs

-Wellington Combined Taxis

-Wingnut Films

-Stone Street Studios

-Corporate Cabs

-Super Shuttle

-ExportNZ

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