Wellington Scoop

Conor Hill’s vision for safe, efficient transport

Media release from Conor Hill
Mayoral candidate Conor Hill today announced his vision for moving people around Wellington. It’s a vision based around efficiently moving people in a green, safe and healthy fashion.

For Hill, everyone should have the ability to move safely around our city, whether they are on foot, on a bike, on a bus or train, or in a car.

Hill said “At the moment Wellington relies too heavily on moving people in the most dangerous and least efficient way possible way, in cars. We need to encourage a shift to efficient, safe, carbon neutral forms of transport. This includes buses and trains, and it definitely includes active modes like cycling and walking.”

Hill wants to see our bus network fixed, light rail to the airport, a network of safe cycleways starting in the cbd, south and east, and a city that is a great place for pedestrians.

He said “Every Wellingtonian deserves safe, reliable access to our beautiful city and suburbs. Wellington does not currently provide that. It’s not reliable for stranded bus users. It’s unsafe for cyclists. As I realised while with a friend in a wheelchair, our city is extremely difficult to navigate for people with accessibility issues. We can and must do better, by investing in public transport, healthy streets and cycleways.”

To encourage uptake of cycling and public transport, Conor wants to see an end to “road socialism” – the provision of free space to cars – which causes daily peak hour congestion. Hill said “We need to start charging people who want to drive into the city at peak hours, to relieve the congestion the city currently experiences. Proceeds could be spent on the provision of better public transport.”

On Let’s Get Wellington Moving, Hill said “The facts are that it has has $3.4 billion of crown investment for Wellington city. All councillors at both city and regional council voted for this package, and it has the support of cabinet. It may not be a 100 percent perfect, but after years of neglect, Wellington city cannot afford to descend into election season bickering about this. It represents the beginning of a new era for Wellington”

“The time to talk is over. We need to start rebuilding our city for people, not cars.”


  1. Paul Day, 12. September 2019, 15:49

    Just what we need – another candidate who virtue signals and demonises drivers. How do you think you get to drink your lattes and eat your counter food in our cafes – because some of us get up at 4am and can only drive into our city so we can get all that ready for you, and drive to get supplier and deliver goods. We have zero public transport options available to us – yet you would tax us because you don’t think we deserve to be on public property. You do not deserve to be mayor of a city where we the public kill ourselves daily to make a small living – only to be attacked by you because it makes you look good.

    I feel you are all out of touch. The reality is that there is no perfect solution. There is no pot of gold big enough to build the dream system. So stop claiming you have the ultimate solution. Stop demonising on portion of the public who have no choice in their transport options. And start compromising and finding mixed solutions that we can afford today.

  2. Mike Mellor, 12. September 2019, 18:42

    Paul Day: there’s nothing in Conor’s policy that demonises drivers. In fact, the effect will be precisely the opposite: providing decent public transport choices will enable people who currently drive to get out of their cars, creating space for the people who need to drive. This includes people who get up at 4am (not in peak hours) to perform the essential tasks of collecting and delivering goods.

    Worldwide it’s been demonstrated that building urban roads tends to increase congestion and reduce speeds, while investing in public transport does the opposite – so better public transport will be better for both drivers and the city.

  3. Russell Tregonning, 12. September 2019, 19:54

    I agree with your assessment, Mike I didn’t read one word in Conor’s policy which demonises car drivers. We have enough urban roads. Just need to use them better & prioritise them for those drivers who have to use them .Time to change tack. Need more healthy climate-friendly electric public transport, safe cycling and walking infrastructure that will free up the city roads for tradies & others who must rely on them having no other choice.

  4. Northland, 12. September 2019, 20:45

    What we need is buses and bus routes that actually work so that people are incentivised to use them ahead of getting in their car

  5. Glen Smith, 12. September 2019, 21:56

    Mike. Agree absolutely. We know what the effect of the proposed road building projects put forward by National would have been because they were professionally modelled. The result, unsurprisingly, was an around 90% overall regional increase in congestion by 2041 and over 400% from the Hutt. I havent seen any modelling but the cost of this is likely to be hundreds of millions per year if not into the billions.
    Analysis from the Hutt Rail washout showed that the greatest beneficiaries of investment in PT are car users (around $300million
    congestion savings -just from rail from the Hutt – for total cost of rail of around $80million across the whole region). This will be also be true for any further investment in PT. In fact, because ever expanding mass car transportation is ultimately self destructive, an efficient PT system can be viewed as an essential component of a an efficient road system. This provides a compelling argument that car users should pay the whole cost of it rather than enjoying the huge subsidies that society currently pays them to drive their cars.

  6. Michael Gibson, 13. September 2019, 7:45

    I made a mistake when I was talking to the excellent Sarah Briggs at the “Bus Review” on Wednesday. I said that about fifteen cars are parked every day on Northland Tunnel Road, filling every available space, whereas there were none before July 15 last year. I said that the “Bus Survey” should find out why and that something should then be done so that the cars didn’t have to be used every day.
    On my way home I counted said cars – there were TWENTY.
    The increase in traffic in the last year is disgraceful.

  7. Northland, 13. September 2019, 19:55

    Glen – car users are normal people; asking that they (and they alone) pay for the entire public transport budget is not going to get anyone anywhere

  8. Glen Smith, 14. September 2019, 9:26

    Northland. I wasn’t advocating that- I was saying a compelling argument could be made for it. The first thing we could do is remove the at least $120 per week subsidy that each family of 4 currently receives to drive their car (based on local and international research) so car users actually pay their own way. Much of this is ‘external’ subsidies (congestion, pollution, climate change, policing, accidents etc). This would require a ‘tax’ to recover these costs that motorists impose on society. This could be put more equally towards PT and roads so that PT users no longer subsidise car users and there is a level playing field. This should pay for all of the proposed PT changes in Wellington (and then some).