Councils to approve next steps to get Wellington moving

21 June 2019

Both Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington City Council will vote on the recently announced Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) Indicative Package at Council meetings next week.

Photo of pedestrians crossing the road at the busy intersection of Cuba and Vivian streets in Wellington.

“LGWM is a once-in-a-generation city-shaping opportunity. It’s attracted a significant commitment from central government, and it’s critical that Wellington gets behind this,” says Wellington Mayor Justin Lester.

Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council will both meet next week to:

  • Endorse the LGWM vision for Wellington’s future
  • Acknowledge and support the LGWM Indicative Package and proposed regional funding commitment announced by the Government
  • Approve the Councils’ share of funding to proceed with the next steps for LGWM, including an early delivery programme and business case development
  • Agree to work towards a new partnership agreement to deliver the wider LGWM programme.

The move would unlock funds already set aside for LGWM in the 2019/20 Annual Plans, and commit the two Councils to funding their share of the next phase on a 60:40 basis between central and local government.

“Funding would kick-start work on early delivery of a range of much-needed initiatives, and give the green light to plan for fundamental changes to move more people with fewer vehicles, support the city and region’s growth, and make it safer and easier to get around,” says Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Chris Laidlaw.

The two Councils will consider longer term funding requirements through their standard and future Annual Plan, Long Term Plan, Regional Land Transport Plan, and National Land Transport programme processes.

Councillor Laidlaw says: “Endorsing this programme is a very significant step for both Councils and for the people of Wellington.  Once we have endorsement of the broad parameters of the programme we can now get on with the detailed planning.

“We’ll be working collaboratively with Wellington City and NZTA on accelerating the early delivery programme, particularly on ensuring bus priority measures are introduced throughout Wellington without further delay. For us at Greater Wellington this is the key to unlocking a better bus network. Genuine bus priority measures will create much greater reliability and better travel times.

“If we can move on freeing up the bus network, we can deliver on the promise of more effective public transport in the short-term while focusing on the bigger ticket items of LGWM such as high-quality mass transit, which will create a truly sustainable long-term public transport system fit for the future. 

 

“There will inevitably be trade-offs in all this and we need to be very frank with ratepayers about these. How we fund the local share of these big projects as part of LGWM will involve important conversations with the community as part of future Annual Plan and Long Term Plan processes.”

Mayor Justin Lester says: “This is an exciting time for Wellington. For decades Wellington has waited for an opportunity of this scale for transformational change that ensures Wellington continues to be the world’s most liveable city. 

“How we grow our city and how we move around our city will impact generations to come and set the course for our city tomorrow. I hope that both Councils will commit to the indicative package next week, and we can start to deliver on the LGWM vision, a city that is accessible to all, with attractive places, shared streets and efficient local and regional journeys.

“Personally I’m looking forward to exploring the design and range of improvements we could see around high quality walking and cycling to make our city safer and public transport improvements including high quality mass transit.”

Questions and Answers

What are the early priorities for LGWM? 

An early delivery programme has been designed so that we can make a start on implementing the approach of moving more people around with fewer vehicles, while the larger more complex components of the programme are being developed.

The early delivery programme includes; 

  • Central city walking improvements
  • Safer speeds in the central city and on the state highway east of Mt Victoria and a new crossing on Cobham Drive
  • Bus priority measures
  • Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road bus priority, walking and cycling improvements
  • Golden Mile bus priority, walking and cycling improvements 

Alongside this early delivery programme, LGWM will commence business case on the larger components of the LGWM programme including mass transit, the Basin Reserve, and extra Mt Victoria tunnel.

Officers from GWRC and WCC have already begun work together to progress bus priority measures, as agreed by both Councils on 13 June 2019. 

What next? 

Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) is a partnership between Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and NZTA. NZTA are expected to take a paper to their board for consideration in July, and if approved it will be a green light for LGWM’s next steps.

LGWM is committed to keeping the community informed and will continue to engage with the public when further details are available. For more information visit our website www.getwellymoving.co.nz 

Details of Council meetings

The joint paper going to the Councils next week is available here

Greater Wellington Regional Council will meet on 25 June.

Wellington City Council will meet on 26 June.