Bus Priority Lanes for Courtenay Place

23 September 2011

Councillors yesterday agreed to go ahead with a package of bus priority lanes from Courtenay Place to Newtown that will provide a more reliable public transport service between the city and southern and eastern suburbs.

The Strategy and Policy Committee decision ensures the major project to improve public transport along the Golden Mile route can be completed.

The Council first agreed to the bus priority plan in 2007, which was incorporated into the Ngauranga to Wellington Airport Corridor Plan adopted by the City Council, NZTA and Greater Wellington Regional Council in 2008.

Bus priority lanes will be installed on Courtenay Place, Kent and Cambridge terraces and Adelaide Road up to John Street. In some cases, the project will involve converting clearways to bus lanes.

In Courtenay Place, the bus priority lanes will operate at all times except for a small section between Taranaki Street and the Reading Cinema.  On Cambridge Terrace, it will operate in the morning peak hour from 7.00am - 9.00am. In Kent Terrace and southbound in Adelaide Road, the bus lane will operate in the peak evening period from 4.00 - 6.00pm.

An estimated 27,000 people travel through Courtenay Place every day on buses, compared with 8,500 people travelling in private vehicles.

The Council's Transport Portfolio Leader, Councillor Andy Foster, says an efficient public transport system is critical if Wellington is to function properly.

"This is all about a more reliable and efficient public transport system," says Cr Foster.

"Bus priority lanes make travel by bus more attractive and reliable and ultimately this will encourage some shifting from private cars to buses especially at peak times. Bus priority lanes help buses bypass congestion and future-proof bus movements against growing traffic congestion, which will reduce journey times."

Cr Foster said the impact on parking and general traffic along the routes would be minimal.

The project is due for completion in February.