Barmy Army joins campaign against Basin Reserve flyover
OPPOSITION to the Basin Reserve flyover has gained unexpected support from an unusual quarter – England cricket’s Barmy Army.
During this month’s cricket test between New Zealand and England at the Basin, members of the famous cricketing supporters group signed a petition and bought tee-shirts opposing the flyover plan.
“We were very pleased with the support we received from England fans in general and from the Barmy Army in particular,” says Tim Jones, co-convenor of the Save the Basin campaign.
“The Barmy Army even let us use their logo on a Barmy Army-branded version of our ‘No Flyover’ tee-shirt, which is something they rarely do, and we sold plenty of those to England supporters.”
Interest in the flyover raised by visiting English media was also matched back in New Zealand, and Mr Jones says the campaign is gathering more signatures.
“We have seen a lot of interest from the public, both at the test and at the Newtown Fair earlier this month, where we signed up a lot of new supporters.”
The online petition to Save the Basin has reached more than 200 signatures, and while there is no specific target they would like to achieve, Mr Jones says they will continue collecting signatures and including the petition in their campaign publicity.
Wellington City Council’s strategy and policy committee meets this week to discuss four potential solutions to transport issues around the Basin Reserve.
Although the WCC report lists the Basin Bridge as providing the best overall response to traffic congestion problems, Mr Jones is hoping that councillors against the idea stay strong.
“In our opinion, the Council officers’ investigation was rushed and flawed,” which Mr Jones noted was made clear in the Architectural Centre’s response to the officers’ report.
Christine McCarthy, Architectural Centre President, says “The report fails to consider key issues concerning the negative impact of the NZTA flyover on the Basin precinct.”
WCC transport manager Geoff Swainson says he has heard little reaction from the public about the Basin Bridge.
“The majority (of those who have responded) are opposed to the appearance of the bridge and its potential impact on the urban environment,” he says.
“I am unable to ascertain whether or not they are cricket fans, but I believe the majority of them to be residents in Mt Victoria.”