$4 billion investment to end Wellington’s congestion woes

A National Government will invest another $4 billion in transport infrastructure across Wellington, igniting the economy and delivering the congestion-busting solutions the region has long been crying out for, National Party Leader Judith Collins says.

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At a speech to the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce in Petone today, Ms Collins outlined National’s plan to spend an extra $4 billion across the Wellington region over the next 20 years, on top of funding that has already been promised through Let’s Get Wellington Moving and the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

That will take total Government spending on transport in Wellington over the next 20 years to more than $12 billion under National.

“This region is choked by congestion. Wellington has the worst traffic in Australasia for a city under one million people,” Ms Collins says.

“Wellingtonians spend more time sitting in traffic than people from Brisbane – a city five times its size. My Government will fix this.”

National’s Wellington and Hutt Valley Transport Package includes:

  • Fast-tracking construction of a second Mt Victoria Tunnel and delivering a second Terrace Tunnel
  • Fixing congestion at the Basin Reserve through grade-separation
  • Rapid transit between Wellington’s CBD and airport in the form of rapid buses or trackless trams
  • Removing highway traffic from Wellington’s inner-city streets by undergrounding SH1 through Te Aro
  • A new highway connecting Seaview in Lower Hutt to SH1 north of Wellington
  • Upgrading Wellington’s metro network, including new trains to improve services between Wellington, Masterton and Palmerston North
  • Widening SH1 to four lanes between Wellington’s CBD and airport (Ruahine St and Wellington Rd)
  • Widening SH2 to four lanes between Silverstream and Whakatiki St in Upper Hutt, and fixing dangerous intersections through new interchanges

“The Wellington region has talked about transport for far too long. The time for endless and interminable squabbling is over. It’s time for action, and my Government will deliver it,” Ms Collins says.

“Let’s Get Wellington Moving was designed as a package of investments, but Phil Twyford and Julie Anne Genter ignored the recommended investments, removed the state highway projects and pushed the second Mt Victoria tunnel to 2029 or later. Our package implements what was recommended and what Wellingtonians want.”

The new Mt Victoria Tunnel will deliver more reliable travel times between Wellington’s CBD and eastern suburbs, as well as the airport. It will reduce traffic volumes on Evans Bay Parade and Oriental Parade, enable rapid transit to be delivered by reducing traffic in Newtown, and improve walking and cycling connections to the eastern suburbs.

“Everyone in Wellington wins from having a second Mt Victoria tunnel.”

National’s commitment to delivering on transport will extend to passing special legislation, if necessary, to make sure the tunnel is constructed as soon as possible, Ms Collins says.

National will also save Wellington ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars by having central Government fund 100 per cent of the state highway projects, rather than asking ratepayers to pick up 40 per cent of the tab, which Labour intends to do.

“Pushing the go button on this infrastructure will create hundreds jobs, decrease congestion, improve safety, and drive economic growth,” Ms Collins says.

“Our plan is ambitious and comprehensive – but most importantly, it will actually get this region moving.”