News | 11 August 2022

Green light for bus and bike work

Plans to make Wellington a place where it is easier and safer to get places in low carbon ways are a step closer this week with bus and bike improvements to the western suburbs approved today, and consultation now open on the Newtown to city route to the south.

The proposed downhill cycleway on Bowen Street.

Wellington City Council’s Pūroro Āmua Planning and Environment Committee today gave the go ahead to safer biking and quicker bus trips between the Botanic Garden ki Paekākā and the city.

The committee made the decision after considering recent community feedback. The feedback showed more than 75 percent of respondents supported or strongly supported proposed interim bus and bike improvements on Tinakori Road, Bowen and Whitmore streets. 

Today’s decision means the Council will install:

  • a shared downhill bike and bus lane – this will be peak-hour only on Tinakori Road (7am-10am and P120 or P10 parking at other times) and full-time on Bowen Street
  • an uphill bike lane on Bowen Street and Tinakori Road to the Botanic Garden ki Paekākā entrance, separated from the traffic lane
  • bike lanes on either side of Whitmore Street connecting Bowen Street to the waterfront, separated from the traffic lanes.

The interim changes will complement improvements due to begin in late August through the Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) programme to make the intersection of Bowen Street and The Terrace safer and easier for people on foot.  

The Council’s Chief Planning Officer, Liam Hodgetts, says “The committee’s decision today reflects that, and the commitments the Council has already made to lower emissions, improve bus journey times and reliability, and develop a safe, citywide bike network as quickly as possible.

“We’re grateful to all the people in the local community, representing businesses and multiple groups, who have worked pragmatically with Council staff since last October, providing feedback and some great suggestions. We also want to thank the more than 630 people and groups who provided feedback on the draft plans last month.

“The mix of views and local knowledge has helped shape these interim changes. Along with the insights we’ll gain from having them in place, the feedback will also influence more permanent changes LGWM will make to the route in a couple of years’ time.”

A change was made to the original draft plan to shorten the hours of the bus lane at the city-end of Tinakori Road from 24/7 to 7-9am Monday to Friday to provide parking at non-peak times. The committee voted today to extend those hours to 7am-10am.

Based on community feedback, a change will be made to parking zones to accommodate residents of St Marys Street and Patanga Crescent. A small change will also be made to make things safer for pedestrians using paths that come down onto Bowen Street from Anderson Park.

The interim improvements will be installed using materials that can be adjusted if necessary.

More information about the project is available at www.transportprojects.org.nz/botanic.

From today, the Council is also inviting people to have their say on the route from the central city to the southern suburbs, which is part of the city’s bike network and bus priority plans. 

The improvements planned between Newtown and the city will make it possible for more people to make the short trip into the city by bike and will help make bus trips faster.  

Consultation on the route is open from today until 5pm on Wednesday 31 August. 

Councillors are expected to consider feedback from this consultation in September.

More information about the Newtown route is available on the transport projects page.