The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say.
“The rejection of the flyover means that alternative ideas for improving traffic flow in Wellington can have a fair hearing,” says Grant Robertson.
“The Board of Inquiry noted that since 2001 there have been 73 different options proposed for this area. There is no shortage of ideas, but the Board is highly critical of the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) for not adequately considering alternatives. That now has to change.
Annette King says money allocated for Wellington must not be taken away following this decision. “Wellington deserves its fair share of transport funding. There are proposals on the table that would see improvements to traffic flow around the Basin and other initiatives such as the duplication of the Mount Victoria tunnel that could be implemented quickly.
Grant Robertson says Labour is committed to ensuring that there is fair funding for Wellington’s transport. “We will be very clear with NZTA that they need to develop a clear alternative plan that improves traffic flow, supports public transport and protects the heritage and amenity value of the area.
“The Board of Inquiry has found quite clearly that the flyover simply did not deliver the benefits it promised, while at the same time seriously compromising the environment and heritage of our city,” Grant Robertson says.
“The Board of Inquiry has done a thorough job and has highlighted some serious shortcomings in the NZTA proposal,” Annette King says. “Now is not the time to throw our collective hands in the air in despair. It is an opportunity to get this project right for decades to come. Labour is committed to doing just that,” she says.