Wellington Scoop

Transport Forum wants to keep trucks on the Golden Mile

Press Release – Road Transport Forum
Banning truck access to Wellington’s Golden Mile could seriously harm the city’s economy, Road Transport Forum (RTF) chief executive Nick Leggett says.

“If the powers that be in Wellington want the Golden Mile to be able to live up to its lofty name, they will seriously reconsider this notion that banning trucks and delivery vehicles will create some kind of pedestrian and cyclist utopia. They will create a wasteland,” Leggett says.

The RTF has submitted on Let’s Get Wellington Moving’s Golden Mile Engagement Report and says it ignores the significant impacts on commerce the plan will have and creates a greater public safety risk.

“Wellington is not some European city with wide open spaces and plazas and equally wide thoroughfares,” Leggett says. “The Golden Mile is Wellington’s primary inner-city arterial retail canyon. It is narrow and that presents problems for the delivery of goods not just to retail stores, but to coffee shops and restaurants, and high-rise offices and apartments.

“This plan shows a complete lack of understanding of how the city’s commerce works. By suggesting freight delivery vehicles will have to be parked some distance away from the receiving site, drivers and delivery people will be expected to move the goods lengthy distances along pavements while being mindful not only of their own health and safety, but also of the apparently many cyclists and pedestrians using the same space.

“The side streets that have been delegated for delivery vehicles are totally unsuitable and will involve reversing and other manoeuvres that will compromise safety.

“Most of the retail outlets and premises on the Golden Mile have front access only, so moving delivery vehicles further away from those premises presents security risks – for the driver and the goods – and the potential for goods to be displaced and damaged as they are wheeled some distance from the delivery vehicle, often in bad weather.

“A vision of routes through the central city with no traffic other than buses was barely desirable before Covid-19 and the Government’s lockdown. It is even less so post Covid-19 with its legacy effect of economic atrophy. The Golden Mile is golden no more. Foot traffic has declined significantly and retail is clearly suffering. All this will do is move shoppers out to the malls they can drive to.

“Wellington lacks proper planning for the present traffic flows to the southern suburbs and airport, and the seaport, and we would have thought greater effort should be paid to sorting out these routes through expansion of State Highway 1 at the Terrace tunnel, and focussing on the entire route to the airport.

“It seems that the narrow focus is on limited environmental and amenity scenarios in the Golden Mile initiative. Yet access to the airport and seaport are essential for Wellington’s economic viability,” Leggett says.

You can read the RTF submission here.

About Road Transport Forum New Zealand (RTF)

RTF provides unified national representation for several regional trucking associations. RTF members include Road Transport Association NZ, National Road Carriers, and NZ Trucking Association. The affiliated representation of the RTF is about 3,000 individual road transport companies which in turn, operate 16-18,000 trucks involved in road freight transport, as well as companies that provide services allied to road freight transport.

The road freight transport industry employs 32,868 people (2.0% of the workforce), has a gross annual turnover of $6 billion, and transports 93% of the total tonnes of freight moved in New Zealand.

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  1. Dave B, 4. August 2020, 13:01

    Nick Leggett, please explain how Cuba Mall works so well then.

  2. Guy M, 4. August 2020, 13:48

    Nick Legget, the lapdog of the trucking industry, comes up with the same old tired arguments that have been disproved time and time again in cities across the planet. He says:

    “2.2 We believe the notion of banning trucks and delivery traffic solely to provide opportunity to facilitate the movement of pedestrians and cyclists is not viable. Our concern is heightened by the proposition that retail products and the distribution of goods are expected to be delivered from delivery vehicles parked some distance from where the goods need to be delivered. This is an illogical approach to logistics efficiency and may present health and safety issues where heavy goods are being moved greater distances.”

    Actually, not true Nick. The Golden Mile is two very different sides of the main street, and there are two very different approaches. On the west side of Lambton, nearly all the towers are serviced from The Terrace, with lifts going down to ground floor. Major sites such as New World Metro and Countdown are all served from behind, with trucks unloading up top and taking goods down the rear. This is a basic principle of the city planning since the 1940s, with an insistence by the WCC that there were to be no loading bays out the front on Lambton Quay. Yes, smaller courier deliveries are done out the front, but this involves couriers walking just tens of metres from parking spaces – no change from the proposed, where they will be walking perhaps double that – not a problem. On the other side of Lambton Quay, the east side is supplied by unloading on the side streets – again, no change from what is done at present. He then goes on to say:

    “2.3 Plans for freight delivery are only evident from the web page Q and As, although a muted explanation on page 13 suggests goods deliveries could be limited to certain times and certain locations. Both approaches are almost unachievable and ignore the inevitable cost impacts, and the former has been tried without success in some cities overseas.”

    Unachievable? Inevitable cost impacts? Without success? How about a more truthful answer Nick – completely achievable at no extra cost and routinely done in cities all over the world. Stroget in Copenhagen, Carnaby Street in London’s Soho, Buchanan Street in Glasgow, Via Dante in Milan, La Rambla in Barcelona, Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter of Paris – these are all pedestrianised streets and also (not coincidentally) the areas of the city with the highest pedestrian footfall and highest shopping precincts. Not surprisingly, pedestrians like to shop without the “pleasure” of large trucks blocking the road. This is our way of finally reclaiming the city streets for People.

    And then, for those companies that absolutely must have front door access on the Golden Mile, they can continue to do what they are already doing: delivery out of hours. If McDonalds need to offload burger buns, they can do it at 4am when the city streets are empty.