Wellington Scoop

Mayors of Porirua and Upper Hutt lead vote to support flyover at Basin Reserve

News report from Nick Leggett, mayor of Porirua
The Wellington Regional Transport Committee today slapped down the December decision of Wellington City Council by resolving its support for grade separation and a bridge over the Basin Reserve.

The motion was moved by Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett and seconded by Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy to ‘elevate’ the Basin project to one of ‘regional importance.’

“Movement from SH1 through the Wellington CBD to the Airport, Hospital and Eastern Suburbs is significant for residents of the Hutt, Porirua, Kapiti and North Wellington. With the Basin and Mount Vic tunnel at full capacity, growth in traffic is going to spill congestion on to local roads as well, particularly Oriental Bay,” said Nick Leggett.

The Regional Transport Committee has noted that the bridge is the only immediate option and has urged NZTA to progress the project to a Board of Enquiry as soon as possible.

“Unblocking congestion at the Basin is a key to improving growth in the region as well as a greater capacity and ease for public transport,” he said.

The $90 million dollar project has had funding confirmed by NZTA; however it is in jeopardy because of the lack of support from Wellington City Council as the local authority.

“NZTA is unlikely to take this project to a Board of Enquiry if the local council doesn’t show its support. It’s an irresponsible position when such a significant project that can alleviate congestion for so many Wellington residents'” said Mayor Leggett.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url


  1. Traveller, 13. February 2013, 19:19

    Nick Leggett is confused and mis-informed, He supports the Basin flyover because, he says, “movement to the airport … and eastern suburbs is significant.” Someone needs to tell him that the flyover, if it’s built, will do nothing to help traffic get to the airport or the eastern suburbs. Its two lanes will carry traffic heading west, not east. If he’s anxious about catching a flight, he’ll still need to queue up to go through the ancient Mt Victoria Tunnel. Someone should also explain to him the flyover will not be built “over” the Basin Reserve, but alongside its northern boundary.

  2. The City is Ours Inc., 13. February 2013, 19:58

    The public and Nick Leggett are confused about the difference between state highways and local roads. Local and regional road controlling authorities have no say over state highways. In any case, they should be supporting Paraparaumu Airport; after all, the Todd Family has just bought 75% of its shareholding and it looks promising. It would also mean traffic reductions for Wellington City.

  3. Curtis Nixon, 13. February 2013, 21:13

    Dear Nick Leggett and Wayne Guppy.
    You are playing petty politics and showing yourselves up as National Party stooges. I really, really hope J.Key and co decide to super-size Wellington City up to include your suburbs and you are both kicked out of local government. Maybe there will be an opening as National MPs.

  4. M Parker, 13. February 2013, 21:20

    That the Regional Transport Committee (a committee of the Wellington Regional Council) can pass a resolution in complete ignorance of the subject matter is disturbing at best. Fortunately Wellington City Council has taken more care and effort to understand the NZTA proposal, and has accordingly decided that other alternatives must be considered. It is difficult to know how Mayor Leggett could move support for the flyover when he is clearly in ignorance of the issue. A wiser person would have done some homework on the subject. On their website for example, NZTA tells us that the flyover could improve west bound traffic, would bring “little change” to east bound traffic, and while it could also reduce north/south peak travel time, NZTA does not indicate by how much. Perhaps the change barely registered in their traffic models. We need our local body politicians to make informed decisions. Those that don’t bother to inform themselves but nevertheless presume to make decisions that will have a significant and adverse impact on our city don’t deserve the job.

  5. Celia Wade-Brown, 13. February 2013, 22:23

    Regarding the impatience of Porirua, Upper Hutt and the (not unanimous) majority to commit to the Option A flyover right now without waiting until the end of the month when we’ll have our data, I said:

    a) the issue is north/south east/west separation not necessarily grade separation, if you read the N2A documents carefully.

    b) the undergrounding of Buckle St removes one significant tailback/ pinch point – does it affect the modelling for other options?

    c) I recognise there are regional transport issues here – including freight access to the port and airport. Our Council wants to see if there are better ways of achieving them without the urban blight of a flyover.

    When the unannounced amendment was moved, I abstained since we had not yet got the analysis and our Council had agreed it would wait until after that to assess its support or otherwise for Option A.

  6. Tim Jones, 13. February 2013, 22:43

    The suggestion that a Basin Reserve flyover will “alleviate congestion” is nonsense. As is well understood by transport planners overseas, building more road capacity simply induces more traffic. It’s a never-ending, vicious, and very expensive circle.

    Sadly, NZTA’s transport planners don’t seem to have got the memo – despite the fact that similar research has been done in New Zealand: as an example, check out this paper by Wood, published by the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) in 2007: http://www.ipenz.org.nz/ipenztg/papers/2007/B8_Wood.pdf

    I suggest that Nick Leggett and Wayne Guppy do a little research before the next time they choose to sound off on Wellington transport issues.

  7. Driver, 13. February 2013, 23:06

    Alleviating congestion? No way. The flyover will carry two lanes of traffic towards the Taranaki Street lights, where the current congestion will continue unchanged.

  8. Kay, 14. February 2013, 0:42

    Wayne Guppy seems to think the flyover is essential to Hutt traffic. How? By saving 20 seconds in travelling from Wellington to the Hutt? At what cost? There are much better options for investment to improve regional traffic movements. Reducing demand by providing more accessible and cheap public transport would be a great start.

  9. Curtis Nixon, 14. February 2013, 3:41

    There are good roading projects and bad ones. A new Mt Vic tunnel is a good idea. Then expand the Basin roads by a lane or two round the circumference to take up the extra rush hour traffic. DON’T park it in the air MAXimising the pollution impact. Shared pedestrian/cyclist over-bridges, north/south would be great too. Lose the carparks next to the Basin roads. Private carparks for private cars. Public thoroughfare on public roads.

  10. Mike Mellor, 14. February 2013, 13:50

    As a member of the Regional Transport Committee I’d like to add my perspective of what happened at yesterday’s meeting.

    With no advance warning to the committee members, Nick Leggett proposed the following motion:

    “That RTC recognises the regional importance of grade separation at the basin reserve as means of addressing congestion, improving public transport and freight efficiency, and supporting the Wellington region’s future economic growth and urges NZTA to progress option A (bridge) to the board of enquiry as soon as possible.

    “That RTC further request Wellington City Council to recognise the impact of the project on other residents of the wider Wellington region by expressing its support for option A and that Wellington City Council communicates that to NZTA at its meeting on March 1 2013.”

    The motion was passed by a majority voice vote, with votes in opposition and at least one abstention (the Mayor of Wellington).

    The RTC did not note that Option A is the only immediate option.

    As a reminder, the relevant part of the Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan (N2A), the basis for the Basin plans, says, in full:

    “Design and construct improvements at the Basin Reserve to improve passenger transport, walking and cycling by separating north-south from east-west traffic; and implement complementary bus priority measures on Kent Tce, Cambridge Tce and Adelaide Rd.”

    The NZTA response to this is Option A, which primarily favours east to west (only) private transport, with any improvements to public transport, walking and cycling (and west to east traffic) being largely incidental.

    Further, Greater Wellington’s Regional Land Transport Programme included a WCC proposal to widen Adelaide Road. NZTA has rejected the inclusion of construction of this project in the National Land Transport Programme, with the comment that “the assessed profile is below the 2012-5 priority level for investment.” What effect this will have on the bus priority measures that N2A requires remains to be seen.

  11. Save the Basin, 14. February 2013, 19:51

    We understand that decisions about transport in Wellington City affect residents throughout the region. But before Nick Leggett made his bold claim to have “slapped down” the Wellington City Council’s decision to investigate alternatives to the proposed flyover, he should have done a bit of basic research on such matters as which way traffic on the flyover is meant to flow and where it would be positioned.

    The action by some members of the Wellington Regional Transport Committee appears to be an attempt to isolate Mayor Wade-Brown and the WCC, who are representing the majority of residents who have repeatedly rejected the proposed flyover. The Committee process lacks integrity. By introducing an unannounced motion and attempting to interfere in the decisions of another council – just two weeks before that council will release its findings on alternatives to the flyover – flyover supporters on the Committee have shown increasing desperation.