Wellington Scoop

New action group opposing Wellington’s ‘inept…old-fashioned transport planning’

News from FIT Wellington
Transport systems in Wellington need a total rethink if the city is to fulfill its promise and become a world leader in sustainable living and people-centred urban planning. This is the view of a new group that’s being set up this week.

Called FIT Wellington, an acronym for Fair, Intelligent Transport, the group says it already has the support of 20 organisations and over 100 individuals, and aims to take its message citywide, forging alliances with many more like-minded groups and individuals.

It says Wellington has been beleaguered by decades of inept, old-fashioned transport planning that has favoured cars over all other modes of transport and is now threatening to cover the city in increasing swathes of asphalt.

The convenor, Michael Barnett, says FIT Wellington will actively oppose the plans by NZTA, GWRC and WCC to build more motorways and road tunnels in the city at a cost of over one billion dollars and to abandon electric trolley buses and possible light rail systems.

“We will be stimulating a positive vision for the city that focuses on urban renewal and regeneration facilitated by clean, efficient, state-of-the-art transport systems,” Barnett said.

“At the moment well over 90 percent of funding is allocated for roads. This is ludicrous. We will seek to have this money spent more wisely and fairly on emission-free electric public transport, enhanced pedestrianisation, and a safe walking and cycling network, all of which have the added benefit of lowering carbon emissions and improving climate and health.”

Barnett said the central government’s takeover of key roads to extend State Highway 1 through the city to the airport has been a major problem, hindering attractive development of the inner city.

“Our aim is to promote the vision of a modern livable city with sane transport
decisions made by and for Wellingtonians.”

He said the group had three key objectives:

 To promote a vision of a modern city designed around the needs of people, not

 To stop further expansion of the road corridor between Ngauranga and Wellington Airport, and oppose other proposed so-called roads of national significance (RONs) in the wider region.

 To seek reallocation of funds currently budgeted for these roads to investment in improved public transport, walking, and cycling facilities.

During the next 12 months FIT Wellington would undertake the following activities:

 Submitting to the Regional Transport Planning Committee, which is in the process of cementing in decisions for its long-term transport objectives (deadline 13 February 2015).

 Preparing and distributing to the people of Wellington a brochure setting out fair, intelligent transport options for the city.

 Providing monthly updates of activities and progress.

 Holding workshops and seminars.

 Hosting movie presentations on state-of-the-art transport systems worldwide.

 Hosting strategically placed information stands.

 Holding a public forum with internationally renowned guest speakers.

 Making representations to central government, NZTA, the Regional Transport Planning Committee, WCC and GWRC.

“It’s time for the people of Wellington to claim our city back from the politicians and bureaucrats, and work to turn it into a model of enlightened urban planning for the 21st century,” Barnett said.