Takapu Valley, Tawa road plans opposed by City Council

15 April 2015

Wellington City Council has voted against proposals by the New Zealand Transport Agency to build a new link road through the rural Takapu Valley or to widen the Porirua motorway through Tawa, while explicitly supporting the proposed Petone-to-Grenada road.

The Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee Chair, Councillor Andy Foster, says: “The planned Petone-to-Grenada road will improve connection between the southern Hutt Valley and Porirua and north Wellington, reduce pressure on the Ngauranga Gorge, and provide a resilience option should any event affect the existing harbourside Hutt motorway.” 

Cr Foster says at yesterday’s Council meeting a large majority of Councillors were however unconvinced by the need for the Takapu Valley road proposal which was a late addition to the Petone-to-Grenada proposal and which would, if built, be a shortcut from the Petone-Grenada route to the Transmission Gully expressway.

Councillors also opposed an NZTA alternative plan to widen the motorway from the Tawa interchange north to the proposed Transmission Gully interchange at Kenepuru.

Cr Foster says the vote acknowledged the strong community opposition to the roads. “These two proposals came out of the blue early last year, and were an unpleasant surprise to the councils and to residents. Almost all the 1400 submissions NZTA received opposed either option.”

“The Council just does not think the case has been made, at the moment, for the Takapu link or the addition of lanes to the motorway – both proposals would cause major disruption to communities along the routes, and the Takapu route in particular was assessed as having potentially significant adverse environmental effects. 

“While there are projections that there may be more congestion in the future on this route, the Council also received evidence that this may be many years away and some of the key assumptions about future traffic growth behind these projections can be reasonably contested.”  

Cr Foster says Wellington City Council wants to work closely with NZTA, Greater Wellington Regional Council and neighbouring councils on planning for the Petone-Grenada route. “There are many significant issues to be resolved including the exact route, design, connections to State Highways 1 and 2, and local roads, landscape impacts especially on the harbour escarpment, and what to do with the fill from the project.”