by Joanna Newman
The Save the Basin Campaign congratulates the Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry for declining approvals for the proposed Basin Reserve flyover.
The Board of Inquiry has made the only logical decision based on the evidence that emerged during the four-month enquiry hearings.
During the hearings, it became evident that the proposal would have a profound impact on the historic heritage of the Basin Reserve cricket ground and surrounding area, for very little transport gain, and NZ Transport Agency had conducted a biased and incomplete evaluation of alternatives to their flyover plan and ignored all of the improvements already underway in the adjoining War Memorial Park tunnel development.
The Board seems to have listened to the many residents, cyclists, walkers and motorists who explained the unique character of the area and its value to Wellington and the nation, which would have been destroyed by the project.
We’re delighted that the Board has said no to what would have been an unnecessary, expensive, ugly and hugely damaging project. The Board heard from a number of experts that there are major changes underway in how people use transport systems. This decision represents a great opportunity for Wellington to move away from the outdated motorway-and-flyover model of transport planning and towards the sustainable methods of providing access and mobility that are appropriate to a modern capital city in the 21st century.
We hope that the NZTA and the Government have seen sense and will not attempt to overturn this decision. However, if they do try to overturn it, the community will certainly be ready for them.
Joanna Newman is spokesperson for the Save the Basin lobby group.