Wellington Scoop

Congratulations to the Regional Council: a Basin solution without a flyover

by Alan Smith
Congratulations to the Regional Council on the vote last week to revisit Option X. The Architectural Centre’s design beats the Transport Agency’s by integrating needs – it’s more sophisticated than just another stretch of State Highway 1.

In 2009, the Civic Trust ran a public seminar about the Basin Reserve area to a packed house. Clearly it showed a successful solution would need to balance the interests of residents, motorists, passengers, pedestrians, and children. This has shaped our flyover response: the flyover doesn’t achieve grade separation from local traffic, and it doesn’t fit its surroundings (SH2 Dowse shows NZTA’s style). There are better ways of improving transport.

One example: there’s excellent public transport to the airport, avoiding the Basin altogether. But it dumps passengers in the wind outside the terminal!

The flyover is a political decision. The Transport Agency’s attitude to “consultation” has been as poor as its 1960’s motorway engineering within 21st century Wellington.

If it matched the grade separation and overall impact of Option X, the flyover would still not necessarily improve transport between the CBD and the east. NZTA’s November Information Days may reveal more sensible options. Until then, congratulations to the Regional Council and the Architectural Centre – we need a solution to make Wellington the best place to live and work.

Alan Smith is chair of the Civic Trust

Read also:
The Regional Council changes its mind

Next Wednesday: public meeting to oppose the flyover


  1. Elaine Hampton, 15. November 2012, 17:17

    Option X is fantastic urban design, accommodating everyone – except maybe the NZTA: pedestrians, cyclists, cars. buses, school children and even light rail, whilst improving the Basin area, which does need a facelift.
    Now that the tunnel under Buckle Street is agreed, Option X is cheaper by a good $10million, without adding the Cricket Stand that isn’t going to be built ($11million) and the clip on cycle way ($8 million) which I doubt will be built, – adds up to something like $29 million cheaper than the flyover.

    Or we could do nothing and reorganise the lights and pedestrian crossings and see how we get on, before we spend mega bucks.

    The Basin is not the busiest roundabout in NZ – try getting out of Porirua about 5 pm.

  2. Cr Daran Ponter - Wellington Regional Council, 16. November 2012, 10:55

    Hi Elaine, I agree with your comments but I am yet to receive confirmation that an agreement on the cricket stand has been reached by NZTA.

    The regional council has an internal workshop on the basin reserve on Monday, with two presentations: one from the Architecture Centre on Option X, and another from Richard Reid, the Auckland architect who has developed his own proposals (with no flyover) for the Basin.

    Hope to report more next week.

  3. Paula Warren, 16. November 2012, 17:37

    I attended the Civic Trust seminar, and would love to see some of what was discussed looked at seriously in a re-think of the Basin Reserve road re-design. This is an urban design issue, not a state highway issue.

  4. Stop the Flyover/Save the Basin Reserve, 27. November 2012, 6:17

    Hi Alan – We’ve added your comments, and your excellent letter to the Dominion Post to the website – Stoptheflyover.com.