News | 23 September 2021
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Green light to a healthier, safer low carbon city

Wellington City Council today gave the green light to consult on a connected bike network that will make streets safer and healthier for everyone.

Shared pathways along Cobham Drive

The Council also voted to get going quickly on safer bike routes between Newtown and the city, and the Botanic Garden ki Paekākā and the city. These will be developed using adaptable materials, so people can use them, make suggestions, and help refine the design. 

Transitional changes like this will include pedestrian and public transport benefits, and pave the way for bigger changes that will come through the Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme.

Mayor Andy Foster says rolling out a fully connected, 147km network of safer routes over the next 10 years so people can choose to bike, scoot, walk or take public transport will help set the city up for a more sustainable lower carbon future. 

“Public engagement for the bike network will run alongside engagement for a big picture LGWM programme and District Plan. We are very keen, in the latter part of this year, to put our integrated and transformational transport and urban district plan before our community,” says Mayor Foster.

Councillor Iona Pannett, Chair of Pūroro Āmua, the Planning and Environment Committee, is excited that today’s vote will see transitional changes happening more quickly in some parts of the city.

“I want everyone, including children and young people, to be able to get to schools, shops, parks, beaches, and between neighbourhoods and the city safely and independently. Getting connections in quickly to Newtown and the Botanic Garden is a great start.”

Capital Coast District Health Board Chief Financial Officer Rosalie Percival says today’s vote is fantastic news. 

“The commitment to develop a network that will help more Wellingtonians to be able to safely choose to bike or walk, and enjoy the health and well-being benefits is great for our city.
“We’re delighted to see a safer biking connection between Newtown and the city is going to be one of the first things to happen. More than 5000 people work at Wellington Hospital and this will support other work we are doing to enable more of our staff to be able to commute sustainably and conveniently.
“Battling traffic and finding a park can be frustrating and time consuming. We acknowledge and support the great work Wellington City Council and Metlink are doing to improve active and public transport options to Wellington Hospital.”

Councillor Tamatha Paul, Deputy Chair of Pūroro Āmua, says Wellingtonians have been very clear. They want local action in response to the climate and ecological emergency.  

“Road transport contributes about 34 percent of the city’s carbon emissions ¬– so making it possible for more of us to get places in low carbon ways is critical. There’s no time to waste.”