Greater Wellington backs council for urgent bus priority and transport corridor Developments

Posted: 15 May 2024 | | No comments yet

Greater Wellington Regional Council is backing Wellington City Council’s push to expedite bus priority measures on the Golden Mile, emphasising the critical need to address rising bus patronage and ease congestion.

Greater Wellington backs council for urgent bus priority and transport corridor Developments

Credit: Metlink

In a significant move aimed at enhancing Wellington’s public transport infrastructure, Greater Wellington Regional Council has expressed strong support for Wellington City Council’s plans to expedite bus priority measures on the Golden Mile and develop a crucial second public transport corridor along the harbour quays.

The regional council’s endorsement is part of its submission on the city council’s proposed Long Term Plan, emphasising the importance of improving bus services and implementing key transport improvements promptly. This support aligns with a recent notice of motion filed by seven city councillors advocating for an integrated transport plan specifically aimed at enhancing the Golden Mile.

Thomas Nash, Greater Wellington’s transport chair, said: “Bus patronage is at record levels and growing in the Wellington region, with more than 70,000 passenger journeys now taken along the Golden Mile each weekday. For most it’s painfully slow, with the limit for efficient bus operations on the corridor due to be reached next year. Without these critical improvements to the Golden Mile and establishment of a harbour quays spine, the logjam of buses through the CBD will make it impossible to deliver the bus capacity Wellington needs.”

The proposed motion, if passed, would task city council officers with collaborating closely with regional council staff to explore options for expanding bus capacity on the Golden Mile while preserving pedestrian enhancements.

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Nash emphasised the public sentiment for action, stating, “Most people in Wellington want us to get on with the work. We have the resources and knowledge from previous studies; it’s time for tangible improvements like more frequent and faster buses, not more studies.”

Efforts towards closer collaboration between the councils on bus corridors have been ongoing since 2018, with current discussions underscoring the advantages of a second spine along the harbour quays, which could significantly improve access to key locations like the airport and hospital, while also reducing commute times across the Golden Mile.

Nash also pointed out that supporting bus corridors is consistent with the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport, which promotes urban and economic development through improved transport infrastructure.

Despite acknowledging budget constraints faced by the city council, Nash expressed confidence in delivering these vital transport enhancements efficiently, stating, “I’m confident we can deliver better bus priority together, making life better for people on buses, and for people walking and riding – while giving Wellingtonians more choices on how to get around.”