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We introduce FIT — Fair Intelligent Transport for Wellington — we have already met Jim Bentley in the LGWM programme.

FIT wants to get light rail (LR) back onto the regional planning agenda — growing overseas evidence questions the out-dated Public Transport Spine Study (2013) conclusions which unfairly excluded LR.

LR is fast, high-capacity and predictable. It attracts people from cars, and reduces road traffic congestion. Buses can’t compete in Wellington given the constraints of the narrow CBD streets.

Decisions made as part of LGWM will determine Wellington city transport for the next 30 years. It’s urgent and essential that LGWM identifies and secures a future LR route and funding.

We welcome Bill English’s statement (Dominion Post 3 June), “Lack of money is not a problem for the bottlenecks in Wellington’s city infrastructure.”

We understand that BRT will be re-tested as part of LGWM. Will the programme develop the detailed business case for BRT? Will future LR be incorporated?

Will the scenario development process assess climate change impacts? FIT will support electric mass transport to reduce climate change effects.

Meeting with NZTA Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Raewyn Bleakley, NZTA
Julie Alexander, NZTA
John Rankin
Kerry Wood
Michael Barnett

Michael thanked Raewyn and Julie for meeting with us and gave a brief introduction of FIT’s key objectives/desires including getting Light Rail back on the planning agenda and our concern about urban form and the need to see transport infrastructure as part of a comprehensive urban development plan designed around people not cars.

John followed up that we FIT wanted to contribute in a constructive manner with a view to getting the best solution(s) for Wellington over the long term.

Raewyn Bleakley responded by referring to our previous meeting with Jim Bentley and the GetWellyMoving process and the solutions will come from that. Bentley referred to the design principles that are currently being worked on, based on feedback from the GetWellyMoving process. The Budget is not limitless and choices will be made.

John and Kerry covered the points listed below:

  • FIT’s primary goal in engaging is to get light rail back onto the regional planning agenda, as new evidence from NZ and overseas, published since the spine study was carried out, throws into doubt that study’s assumptions and conclusions about light rail
  • FIT considers it’s essential to include analysis of light rail route options now, to secure a preferred route and funding approach, because the decisions the region makes now will shape the future of Wellington for the next 30 years
  • FIT is especially looking forward to the discussion which will take place around the scenarios for the future being developed; we hope the scenarios will include commentary about each scenario’s carbon footprint, as FIT will be supporting scenarios which will result in a low fossil carbon transport future, which we consider will require electric mass transport as a core capability

A blunt response from Raewyn Bleakley was that LR was unaffordable and bus solutions for public transport were the likely solutions. For NZTA the key issues are:

  • What is the problem?
  • What are the options?
  • What is the cost?

Raewyn Bleakley queried the membership and structure of FIT? We advised number as six and we are working toward establishing as an Incorporated Society.

The final and perhaps the key issue discussed was that of funding. Bleakley stated that transport funding comes from road user charges and therefore the spending must benefit the road user. Alexander contrasted this with Crown Funding which is purpose specific. The unstated implication is that NZTA investment will continue to focus on roading solutions to transport problems.

Comment: Having been told that light rail has to be evaluated against other solution options, which is fair enough, our proposal to Get Wellington Moving ought to state that the option against which light rail must get compared is a roading / private car option, as this is the investment decision the city is facing. More motorways and more cars or rapid transit?
Page last modified 09 May 2017 at 10:54 AM