Save the Basin Campaign spokesperson Tim Jones today congratulated the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project partners on the positive aspects of today’s Wellington transport announcement, but said that many questions remained about the detailed plans for the Basin Reserve and the Basin Reserve precinct.
“Overall,” said Mr Jones, “there is a lot to like about this morning’s announcement. We applaud the change of emphasis from the motorway madness of the past to a future that is better for the climate and better for people. Better walking, cycling, public transport and mass transit, plus transport demand management, are all welcome parts of the plan.”
“But as usual,” said Mr Jones, “the devil is in the detail. And when it comes to the detailed documents released today by the transport planners behind LGWM, the picture starts to look less promising.”
Save the Basin was one of the groups that help to defeat the previous Basin Reserve flyover proposal. At the announcement today, politicians admitted that the previous flyover plan had been a mistake. “That’s great to hear,” said Mr Jones, “but the problem is that the detailed documents released today include a picture that looks a whole lot like ‘Flyover 2.0’.” (1)
“Clearly there has been a mind-shift among many political leaders over the future of Wellington transport,” said Mr Jones. “But we’re not so sure that the New Zealand Transport Agency has deviated from its desire to build a Basin Reserve flyover. The pictures chosen for these documents tell a story that’s at odds with the bold and welcome statements made at today’s launch. Likewise, we have many questions about the announced plans for a second Mt Victoria tunnel.”
“Save the Basin remains committed to safeguarding the future of the Basin Reserve as a unique and defining environmental and heritage feature of Wellington, and to working towards a future Wellington transport system that moves away from dependence on private motor vehicles and helps to make the urgent greenhouse gas emissions reduction that both the Government and Wellington City Council agree to be necessary. We will be analysing these documents carefully and considering our response as the process moves forward,” Mr Jones concluded.
(1) See October 2018 Recommended Programme of Investment, https://getwellymoving.co.nz/assets/Documents/The-Plan/6575-LGWM-Recommended-Programme-RPI-v6.pdf, p. 2