Greens: Scrap Wgtn Motorway


The Greens today called on the Wellington Regional Council to rethink its transport strategy and abandon a proposed $2 billion spend on new motorways.

It questions the business case on the Transmission Gully.

It says this will not reduce congestion, and instead focus on the development of trains, buses, walking, and cycling.

Projections in the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Regional Land Transport Strategy released yesterday show that building new roads won’t solve congestion whereas public transport will.

“Instead of wasting billions on building new roads, Wellington’s transport priority must be building a light rail system through to the airport,” Green Party Wellington transport spokesperson Sue Kedgley said.

“Wellington is unusual in having its major commuter rail network finish at the outskirts of the city. The report failed to highlight this strategic failure.

“Until this is addressed, by building a light rail network that takes commuters right to their place of work, our transport system will be hamstrung.”

Ms Kedgley said that building a mass transit system on the Kapiti rail network, with trains running at 5 to 10 minute intervals, would dramatically reduce congestion on the Kapiti line.

“Twelve trains with twelve full carriages running at peak time would carry 10,000 passengers and get 8-9000 cars off the road,” Ms Kedgley said.

Wellington rail is popular already

Green Party transport spokesperson Gareth Hughes that the Government needs to adopt a smart, balanced approach to transport funding and re-allocated funding from new motorways to better public transport, walking, and cycling.

“Public Transport options are smarter because they deliver higher returns for the money invested,” Mr Hughes said.

“The Transmission Gully motorway has no business case and will likely increase congestion in Wellington.

“The best way to reduce congestion is not to build more roads but to have fewer cars on existing roads.”




  1. Brent C says:

    I can certainly tell you DomPost missed the train on this one as well (this headlined as well):

    There was also little mention of congestion charging, although it did get a mention and has been talked about in Wellington in the past.

  2. karl says:

    Congestion charging is the unstable hand grenade of transport policy - highly effective, but you don’t know whether it will go off before it has even left your hand.

    Of course politicians hate it, especially with our ridiculously short election cycles.

  3. Doloras says:

    Congestion charging is a tax on the poor, who generally live in outer suburbs (in NZ, at least) and thus have to commute far greater distances than the rich.

  4. karl says:

    Doloras, I don’t quite agree with that - you could even reverse the argument, and say that congestion charging (under some circumstances at least) is a tax on the richer people who don’t use PT.

    Also, what are we talking of in terms of congestion charging? A CBD congestion charge hits primarily the professional-level people (middle and upper class) who have paid car parking at work. The poor don’t come into the CBD to work by car anyway.


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