Opponents of NZTA’s proposed Basin Reserve flyover have said all along that NZTA behaved in an arrogant and high-handed manner during the supposed “consultation” process on its Basin Reserve flyover plan. Now that arrogance and high-handedness has come back to bite NZTA – and it’s not just us saying it.

The updated Basin Bridge Project Traffic and Transportation Peer Review (PDF, 4.1 MB), commissioned by the Board and prepared by Abley Transportation Consultants, raises such severe criticisms of the project that NZTA’s only honourable course of action would be to withdraw their current proposal and think again. (Of course, NZTA has dismissed the Transport Peer Review’s criticisms and announced its intention to press on regardless.)

There has been a striking shift in the tone of the Dominion Post’s coverage of the proposed flyover this month, and Michael Forbes of the DomPost has prepared this excellent summary of the key criticisms contained in the Abley Report:

Serious red flags raised over flyoverhttp://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/9639260/Serious-red-flags-raised-over-flyover

Wellington Scoop, which has a distinguished track record of investigative journalism on the issue, expanded on the Dominion Post article, noting previous criticisms by Save the Basin:

More (and more) confirmation that there are better alternatives than the flyover: http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=63947

This article highlights the transport evidence to be presented  at the forthcoming Board of Inquiry hearing by one of Save the Basin’s expert transport witnesses, David Young:

David Young, who for eight years was Transit NZ’s national planning manager, confirms that there is a low-cost at-grade option for solving Basin traffic problems without a flyover. He asks why the Agency failed to allow Wellingtonians the choice of this non-flyover option. Had it been been identified and included in the consultation process, he says, it is likely that it would have been preferred by affected parties “and would, or at least should, have been selected by the Transport Agency.”

This expert witness also says the “grossly uneconomic” flyover will cause significant adverse environmental effects and he asks why the Agency is understating environmental issues related to the flyover.

Wellington Scoop’s report of the original version of the Transport Peer Review is here: 49 key concerns about the flyoverhttp://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=63947

Radio New Zealand also covered the issue on Checkpoint: Basin Reserve flyover plan criticisedhttp://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/234062/basin-reserve-flyover-plan-criticised

As a campaigner, it can be easy to feel like a lone voice in the wilderness. Not any more!

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