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Flyover fuels fever over Basin Reserve future

Nov 28th, 2008 | By | Category: Latest News, News

PICTURES: Drawings of the proposed flyover – prepared by the Save the Basin Reserve campaign. No equivalent drawings have been provided by the council.

AS ONE ardent Wellington cricket supporter puts it: can you imagine putting a flyover around Lords?

She was one of more than 100 people who filled St Josephs Church in Mt Victoria this week to launch a campaign to stop the construction of a concrete flyover planned for the northern end of the Basin Reserve.

The venue was well chosen – from the meeting room, the basin was in fine view, complete with its historic grandstand and pristine lawn.

 With computer-graphics, Save The Basin Reserve campaigner Kent Duston showed the crowd what the flyover might look like, which varied considerably from the coloured drawing produced by NZ Transport Agency.

“We are very concerned that we had to develop these images,” Mr Duston said. 

“Surely, if we were going to have a reasonable debate about this, these are the images the council should have prepared. And as we live in an earthquake zone, a lot of concrete and steel will go into it.”

He could see no benefits the flyover would make towards cutting travel time through the city. He predicted it would save 11 seconds on a green light, 90 seconds on a red light – an average of 55 seconds.

“Is it worth destroying the character of the Basin reserve and spending $50 million  for 55 seconds?” he asked an equally disapproving crowd.

The group predicts traffic noise in the basin will double and traffic fumes – in an area not currently tested for air quality – will become a serious issue. 

Green MP Sue Kedgley said the idea was “completely loopy. Why would you surround New Zealand’s most historic cricket ground with a spaghetti junction?
“I can’t believe that Wellington City Council have given the green light without having seen the plans,” she said.

“It does not make any sense to have four lanes of traffic going into a two-lane tunnel.”

She believed the aim was to create so much congestion that there would be pressure to build another tunnel.

“And then there will be tremendous pressure to put four lanes out to the airport.  Instead of saying this – and creating huge opposition – they’re doing it in bits and pieces.”

The day after the meeting the planners, Wellington City and Regional Councils and NZ Transport Agency (who were not at the meeting), responded with a joint statement.

Greg Campbell, Wellington City Council’s acting urban development and transport director, said in the statement the proposed flyover would “massively cut” traffic congestion around the ground and improve the flow of public transport. 

The flyover proposal was not yet finalised, the statement said, and the community would get to comment when planned consultation is held in 2009.

But Wellington City Councillor Iona Pannett, who opposes the plan, says the decision has indisputably been made to build it.

“They are just working on the detailed design work,” she says.

“It is certainly not inappropriate to be raising concerns about this now. They approved it before actually understanding how it would function and what it would look like.”

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  1. […] A good piece at « The slow pols-news day quiz #1 The Standard Week – 21-28 November […]

  2. […] If the anti-flyover people are to be believed it’s being proposed because road planners are stupid and engaged in a conspiracy to build more roads.  It’s like reading SOLO on climate change, a plot by climate scientists […]

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