Wellington Scoop

Businesses see “hopes and platitudes” in LGWM Golden Mile plans

Press Release – Business Central
Today’s LGWM media release on the proposed changes to the Golden Mile appears to have little further information for the Wellington businesses that it impacts.

“Beyond announcing the option that has been picked, there is very scarce detail given, other than the hopes and platitudes articulated from the various spokespeople,” says Simon Arcus, Chief Executive Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

“There are hundreds of businesses along the golden mile that are going to be impacted, but there is no further information yet on service and delivery vehicle access, taxi stands, or how traffic flows may operate on and around the now cut-off side streets. These are all critical issues that the Chamber and others raised during the submissions and engagement process over the past 18 months, so we certainly expected further details as part of today’s announcement.

“While we understand more information is coming, what businesses need now is clarity and certainty. The current retail and city business environment is trading tough, managing the continuing impacts from Covid, increasing imposts, and ongoing operating challenges.

“The cost of the preferred option previously exceeded $80 million, and likely now to be much higher, certainly given the recent BEFU warning received from Treasury. You have to ask if this is the best spend of ratepayer and taxpayer funding, whether the same outcome could be achieved more cost-effectively, and how it links to improving the city’s overall productivity. Again, there needs to be more policy detail to be able to justify the sizable expenditure.

“The Chamber continues to be optimistic that there is an outcome we can support to get the city moving, and that can be achieved through the delivery of the full LGWM package, options A through D, with significant benefits for the city. We have to make sure that the whole programme with the fullest benefits is delivered.”

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  1. Ray Chung, 18. June 2021, 13:55

    This morning I was at a business at 129 Thorndon Quay where they told me that if the WCC take away the parking outside their store, their business will drop dramatically! They’ve never had a customer carrying a light fitting away on a bicycle. The WCC are so enamoured by the cycling fraternity that they don’t consider the businesses who are paying their rates.

  2. Mike Mellor, 18. June 2021, 16:41

    Ray, from map TQ14 on p255 of this council agenda, it looks as if there is no proposal to remove parking from outside 129 Thorndon Quay, so I’m not sure what your point is. If you’re suggesting that a store must have parking right outside its front door to survive, I suggest that you visit Lambton Quay, Cuba Street, Willis Street, or any shopping mall, where carparks are further – and often a lot further – from the storefronts than that, yet those stores don’t seem to be doing too badly.

    It’s also worth noting that when out shopping (according to LGWM’s Golden Mile research) the cycling (and walking and bus riding) fraternity tend spend more money per head than car users – and take up much less of the valuable road space (so less congestion), have much lower carbon emissions, reduce demand on the health service, and pay rates! What’s not to like?

  3. Dave B, 18. June 2021, 17:20

    Ray Chung, I popped into Lighting Direct a few weeks ago (on my way past, by bicycle) and would certainly have carried my purchase away in my backpack had they been able to provide what I wanted. As I do frequently from all sorts of retail outlets.