News | 29 March 2018

New traffic roundabout for Island Bay foreshore

Work has started this week on new traffic and pedestrian safety measures at the intersection of The Esplanade and Reef Street in Island Bay.

Historic photo of the beach at Island Bay and showing Tapiteranga Island. Taken by Sydney Charles Smith 1888-1972.
Historic view of Island Bay Beach, showing Tapiteranga Island. Smith, Sydney Charles, 1888-1972: Photographs of New Zealand. Ref: 1/2-048277-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

The work, which includes construction of a new traffic roundabout, is part of a range of changes in the area that are about improving the safety and efficiency of bus movements.

Wellington City Council’s Transport Strategy Portfolio Leader, Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, says the $400,000 project will improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists in the area as well as make life easier for bus drivers.

“The new roundabout will enable buses to turn around safely – and will be a traffic-calming measure. It will help to slow traffic heading along the Esplanade – meaning it’ll improve safety for people crossing the road to get to and from the beach.”

Cr Calvi-Freeman says the project includes the shifting of the bus stops in the area and the provision of new lay-over areas for buses.

He says the removal of trolley buses from the Island Bay route has allowed the bus turnaround area to be shifted. “For years the buses have turned at the intersection of The Parade and Reef Street. It’s quite a constricted intersection – and it’s not ideal from a traffic safety and visibility point-of-view.”

The project is funded by Greater Wellington Regional Council. Its Sustainable Transport Committee Chair, Councillor Barbara Donaldson, says the Esplanade and Reef Street work is readying one end of Wellington’s busiest bus routes for the new network roll-out.

“Island Bay bus users will be one of the first passengers riding in the new all-electric double decker buses. Higher capacity double decker buses carrying more passengers at peak times will reduce the number of buses on the road, meaning less congestion and faster trips through the CBD.

“The new high-frequency North-South bus route 1 travels along The Parade via Rintoul St to Wellington CBD and on to Johnsonville and other northern suburbs.

“Weekday peak travellers will have higher capacity buses than today, running every 10 minutes. People will be able to turn up and go, waiting no more than approximately 10 minutes weekday during the daytime and 15 minutes weekend during the daytime.”

You can view the proposal here.