Let’s Get Wellington Moving: progress!

Today and tomorrow, two councils vote to fund their bits of Let’s Get Wellington Moving.

WCC’s and GWRC’s websites have some nice joined-up-looking material, including a joint paper to their two councils recommending they commit to their share of the 40:60 local:national funding for it.

(Whatever else you say about LGWM, it’s something finally bringing together some bits of Wellington’s transport governance.)

WCC’s vote is tomorrow (Wednesday 26th).

What’s happening quickest: The councils / LGWM have a list of the absolute sizzlers, the no-brainer projects that deliver win-win-wins (and aren’t nearly so expensive) so don’t need to go through the NZTA business case process. WCC says:

“An early delivery programme has been designed so that we can make a start on implementing the approach of moving more people around with fewer vehicles, while the larger more complex components of the programme are being developed.”

Excellent, because the business case process can take a LOOOOONG time. Even when the organisation’s not in a bit of disarray. We need better transport yesterday already.

“The early delivery programme includes;

  • Central city walking improvements – long overdue and quite embarrassing that people on foot are so often second-class
  • Safer speeds in the central city and on the state highway east of Mt Victoria and a new crossing on Cobham Drive – we hope this means real, enforced 30km/hour. Given current red light running rates, 30km will need to be imposed by physical street changes as much as by a sign.
  • Bus priority measures – about blimmin time, this should have been done decades ago and will be transformational for our buses’ reliability
  • Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road bus priority, walking and cycling improvements –huzzah! So many good things!
  • Golden Mile bus priority, walking and cycling improvements – huzzah! Here too!

Alongside this early delivery programme, LGWM will commence business case on the larger components of the LGWM programme including mass transit, the Basin Reserve, and extra Mt Victoria tunnel. more on those to come, you can be sure…

Officers from GWRC and WCC have already begun work together to progress bus priority measures, as agreed by both Councils on 13 June 2019.”


GWRC voted in favour of the LGWM package this morning.

They also voted through a couple of resolutions calling for:

(a) Work at Basin and on a second Mt Victoria tunnel to happen faster,

(b) Their CE to work with LGWM to expedite this.

These motions don’t appear to have any binding force.

(Q:What’s the point of moving these motions then?

A: Smells rather like election year positioning by non-Wellington councillors to appeal to “out of town” voters.
We’ve always agreed that LGWM’s Ngauranga cutoff and Wellington region’s lack of regional planning is quite bonkers. But this kind of posturing presumes that people who live outside Wellington city care most about driving as fast as they can through Wellington City to the airport (and let’s not forget driving their kids to sport and the Spruce Goose).)

Update 2: today we learn NZ households’ worsening transport emissions are the worst of our crappy emissions performance. In that context this posturing looks like extra ridiculousness.

Why aren’t councillors helping Wellington transition better, fairer, faster to the way we need to be?

Ho hum.

Let’s hope councillors can think regionally and progressively. We the voters can encourage them!

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