$1m Wellington Light Rail Study Approved


On the eve of a showdown Wellington council meeting over the capital motorway plans, government finance has been approved for a $1m study on the long term options for a high quality public transport corridor running from Wellington Station to Wellington Regional hospital in Newtown.
This will include, but is not limited to, light rail and bus-based options.
Wellington’s new mayor, Celia Wade-Brown, under pressure from NZTA and some council members for her lack of total public commitment to the motorway plans, has been pushing for light rail to be investigated. She says today: “Light rail, as one option, has additional potential to bring in investment along its route, as shown in many cities overseas from Nottingham to Portland. Efficient public transport is crucial for our economy.”

During the election campaign, Celia Wade-Brown said that Wellington requires a transformative and strategic approach to transport issues.

She was elected on a platform in which she proposed a new light rail line that will run from the railway station to Courtenay Place via the Golden Mile, onwards to the hospital and Newtown, through Kilbirnie to the airport.

It will be interesting to see if this funding changes the debate at tonight’s meeting by easing any criticism of the roading options because alternative options are being studied
This study is part of the Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan, which is at the heart of the motorway debate. Tenders will be called for the study within the next few weeks.
The study will list the advantages, disadvantages, costs and benefits of options with the stated outcome being to allow robust political debate and inform a long-term strategic decision as part of the next Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan review in 2013. Public consultation will take place in May or June next year on the various options that are identified and assessed in the study.
The study will also consider any possible connections of the high quality public transport network to the rest of the transport network.

Light rail may run from the Wellington station


Fran Wilde, Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council, says a high frequency, high quality public transport system is crucial for this part of Wellington. “We know that the bus network is already near capacity particularly along the Golden Mile where various routes meet, creating significant delays especially at peak times.
“The need to identify longer-term solutions to make public transport through this corridor as fast and convenient as possible is a crucial element of the overall approach agreed through the Ngauranga to Wellington Airport Corridor Plan.
“The innovative solutions, such as more suburban hubs and interchanges, that are being developed as part of our Wellington city public transport review will also be a valuable contribution to this study.”
The study is being carried out by Greater Wellington Regional Council, in partnership with Wellington City Council and the NZ Transport Agency.
NZTA Regional Director Jenny Chetwynd said the study would be an excellent investment towards improving the performance and uptake of public transport in Wellington City in the long-term.

“Public transport plays a critical role in Wellington’s transport network, and this study will help us identify opportunities to make public transport more user-friendly and efficient. This study is an important component of the Ngauranga to Airport Corridor plan, which once fully implemented, will result in a well performing multi-modal transport system that improves travel throughout the city for all users.”




  1. Patrick R says:

    Good work Celia!

    Joyce dropped 100million on investigating the Puford highway, enough to upgrade the existing Northland rail line.
    So fill your boots, sister.


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