Media release from Sue Kedgley
Forecasts of a 50% increase in congestion during the morning peak by 2031 as a result of new motorway building should trigger a major re-think of the region’s transport policies, Wellington Regional Council candidate Sue Kedgley said today.
The predictions are contained in a report prepared for the Greater Wellington Regional Council by international transport experts Arup and Opus.
“Can anyone imagine what Wellington will be like with 50% more congestion in the mornings, on our narrow and already car-congested streets?
“A 50% increase in congestion would clog our city, ruin our enviable quality of life and threaten our economic and social viability,” Ms Kedgley said.
“What is the point in spending $3 billion on new motorways, if they are going to accelerate congestion, and gridlock our city?”
“The main justification that has been given for building these motorways is to ease congestion.
“Yet the report shows that they will do just the opposite –they will steadily increase congestion. This should cause a re-think of the region’s transport priorities.’
“It’s well established that once traffic growth in a city reaches a certain tipping point, it becomes a destructive and uncontrollable force that destroys a city’s quality of life.
“This is what will happen to Wellington once the new network of motorways is built,” Ms Kedgley said. “We will become just another car-congested, car dependent city that will be extremely difficult to get around in.
“The reality is that the viability and livability of Wellington depends on reducing, not increasing traffic, by investing in alternatives to cars such as light rail, improved public transport, walking and cycling, and other work related strategies such as flexible working hours.”