Wellington Scoop

Another plan for avoiding the flyover


by James Hollings
Has anyone considered something like this for the Basin? It has the same advantages as the flyover (grade separation of north-south and east-west traffic, and mating with the new Memorial Park link) but it eliminates the need for a concrete flyover looming over the Basin.

It also Creates a pedestrian area in front of the two nearby schools and Government House, for a new Basin entrance, and gets rid of the traffic lights at bottom of Adelaide Road, reducing congestion there.

The main idea is to lower Sussex Street, and possibly take a few metres off the edge of the Basin there, to create a two-way through-road for north-south traffic, with dedicated lanes for buses. The Robert Vance stand would stay, but the old stand (an earthquake risk) would be demolished, with a replacement built to east of the Vance stand (more wind shelter for bowlers from northerlies!). Dufferin Street would become a pedestrian area, with no through-traffic (except for access to the schools and Government House). This would also provide a nice, spacious and safe entry/ exit point for Basin users.


  1. Traveller, 3. August 2013, 10:33

    Seems a constructive plan, except for the dreadful idea of a new stand in the middle of the viewshaft.

  2. hr, 3. August 2013, 12:56

    What are the volumes on each of these new routes?
    How many more jams in this set-up than with the one being considered by the new flyover Board of Inquiry?

  3. Weillington Commuter, 3. August 2013, 15:52

    Until the diagram can outline each individual road lane from each direction, it is impossible to understand if this will, or will not work (and why). For example … It looks like the median line holds “light rail” but it is unclear if the tracks are being shared with the road space or on thier own dedicated corridor several metres wide. You just cannot tell from the drawing.

  4. RIcki, 3. August 2013, 19:45

    Whoever drew up this plan does not live in the east. One lane in, one lane out, congestion for miles at peak times. When will you Greenies learn GAME OVER the flyover will go ahead. That’s what the majority of Wellingtonians want.
    Every proposal now is just another attempt at delaying the inevitable. It ain’t gonna work. This is costing ratepayers and residents value hard-earnt money, but then your Mayor doesn’t give a toss about accountability.

  5. Peter K., 4. August 2013, 2:28

    This might seem a bit pedantic, but how does the traffic from Kent Terrace and other parts north, enter the flow of traffic heading west along Buckle Street and onto Karo Drive? This looks more about getting the traffic flowing north/south, than actually solving the real issues.
    And where are the cycle lanes, or the bus priority lanes? Short term thinking yet again.
    I notice too that the proponents of this proposal are happy to lob off vast chunks of the Basin Reserve, but woe betide anyone who touches anything clean, green or supposedly precious. Nice to see the old double standard applying, hypocrisy at its best.
    The anti-flyover movement – lobotomised at birth. No wonder Wellington’s economy has been stagnating under Celia’s watch.

  6. Harold, 4. August 2013, 9:35

    Hey Ricki, when the flyover is finished there will still only be one lane in and one lane out of the east as you put it. When will you pro flyover madmen get it???

    What needs to happen first is a second tunnel, that will have the biggest impact on fixing this area. I have no idea why everyone is so obsessed with building the flyover first, it should be built last, if it all.

    I imagine it is the result of decades of pent up frustration at nothing being done to alleviate the traffic around the Basin so the first proposal that was put forward is jumped on by commuters like a rabid dog with some fresh meat.

    I’m all for fixing this mess but throwing 100s of millions at a seemingly pointless flyover seems crazy to me.

  7. Traveller, 4. August 2013, 11:05

    The problem isn’t at the Basin. It’s where the traffic is constantly delayed – at the Mt Vic Tunnel, and at the Taranaki Street lights. Harold is right: the flyover will do nothing to improve traffic flows from the eastern suburbs. Then there’s an even bigger issue: why does anyone want to encourage more traffic through this part of Wellington?

  8. Buchanan, 4. August 2013, 14:03

    Looks just the same as Option X to me !

  9. Ricki, 5. August 2013, 11:33

    Harold – if you must comment, don’t be so big-headed. We all know from the figures provided by the NZTA that the actual costs for the flyover is not in the 100’s of millions. Just more spin from the people up in Mt. Vic who will do anything to hold up progress in this city.
    Traveller -a protégé of Celia’s ? perhaps. People use this route as it is the most direct one to the eastern suburbs where 1000’s live, and vote. People also use this one as it is the most direct route to the Airport. Celia wants everyone to go through Newtown, fine, but the congestion there is even more horrendous. Perhaps we should route the traffic to the eastern suburbs through Island Bay.

  10. lindsay, 5. August 2013, 11:38

    A reminder: if the flyover is built, it won’t help anyone to get to the eastern suburbs or to the airport. It’s planned to be a one way flyover, heading west, not east.

  11. Stan, 5. August 2013, 20:21

    Oh, so why is NZTA so keen to spend millions of dollars? Is it because the second Mt Victoria Tunnel is the best option but most expensive so they have placed the ‘Bridge’ as the most viable to suit its budget?

  12. Mike, 6. August 2013, 20:41


    Actually, the most direct route to the eastern suburbs is through the bus tunnel, as the many bus passengers appreciate every day – at peak times faster, more reliable and much more relaxing than driving along SH1, and with capacity to spare.

    A sensible, intelligent transport policy would maximise use of existing assets before spending money on subeconomic and intrusive projects that will only worsen congestion – wouldn’t it?

  13. Ricki, 7. August 2013, 0:27

    Lindsay, we know the flyover works east to west, but it’ll solve part of the congestion problem along Ruahine Street and through the tunnel.
    Mike, not everyone works 9 – 5, not everyone works in the CBD. As much as you and all the greenies might like to compel everyone onto buses, for a lot of people, that just doesn’t work. Maybe if this was a totalitarian state and you could compel everyone to catch the bus, then that might work. Not everyone is paid $60,000 – $100,000. Some have to work 2,3, 4 jobs just to make ends meet. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones Mike. Arriving at work, to a nice office, and a hot coffee. The life of the industrious. Others of us are just thankful for a job, governor.

  14. elmer, 7. August 2013, 10:27

    It looks like potential middle ground. I can see how it might work.

    I agree it is necessary to factor in how bus priority and cycling will work – that is very important.

    Ricki, calm down. Some of us out here are really concerned about the flyover and want a constructive way forward. Your comments are pretty inflammatory.

  15. Mike, 7. August 2013, 11:17

    Ricki, I’m not compelling anybody to do anything – but you appear to want to compel me (and practically everybody else) to pay for an unsightly subeconomic project that international experts say will contribute to making congestion worse, journey times slower, etc etc, making life harder for the industrious (and practically everyone else).

  16. Ricki, 7. August 2013, 13:24

    Whoa Mike, you speak on behalf of all of Wellington or just the residents of Mt Vic ? No one is compelling you to use the flyover when it’s built, but as the NZTA is going to build it, I will. Most of the residents of the eastern suburbs will use it too, as will those returning from having made deliveries to the eastern suburbs.
    For three years this City Council has procrastinated. Now, thanks to NZTA, we have the opportunity to do something about it. The sooner the flyover is built, the sooner the second tunnel is built, and the roading network to the Airport is upgraded, the better. Bring it on, I say.

  17. Curtis Nixon, 7. August 2013, 14:56

    At least it’s an attempt at some fresh thinking instead of the entrenched polarised positions of the existing debate.

  18. Curtis Nixon, 7. August 2013, 14:59

    Wind gusts pose potential hazard on flyover – another reason why the uber-bridge is a bad idea. Just make the existing road bigger all round – one or two more lanes would allow enough room for traffic to stack up at rush hour while it waits to get on to Buckle St and Adelaide Rd.

  19. Mike, 7. August 2013, 18:46

    Ricki, WCC has not procrastinated. It’s tried to get a better solution than NZTA’s intrusive and uneconomic flyover, but that steamroller is unstoppable – bad news for the city in every respect.

    Sure people will use it (no-one heading east, though), but you’re happy with compelling me (and practically everyone else) to pay for this destructive eyesore, whether they use it or not. Thanks!

    Meanwhile, those in the know will keep on catching the bus, turning time wasted behind the wheel into time spent with our books, iPads, Kindles, friends, or just daydreaming – and with the recommended healthy walk at each end. Shame that NZTA’s proposal is forecast to make this less and less viable, against all common sense.

  20. JC, 8. August 2013, 8:37

    Mike – with respect, Ricki’s not compelling anyone to do anything. The Government, voted by the people of New Zealand, and acting through the NZTA, are the ones who have decided to build the bridge. If you don’t like what’s happening then I suggest you head to the polls and pit your vote against the rest. If Ricki could personally compel you and everyone else to pay money I’m sure he would be a very rich man!

  21. Mike, 8. August 2013, 20:10

    JC – Ricki is happy for me (and practically everybody else) to be compelled to pay for this intrusive and subeconomic project, whether we like it or not, which is the point I was making.

    Agreed about the solution, though!