Wellington Airport urges Let’s Get Wellington Moving to stop slowing Wellington down

27 Jul 2021

Wellington Airport, photo taken by Mark Tantrum

Wellington Airport is calling on Let’s Get Wellington Moving to ditch its proposed pedestrian crossing and speed bump on State Highway 1, and build an overpass instead.

LGWM is proposing a traffic-lighted crossing over Cobham Drive (State Highway One) by the ASB Sports Centre and reducing the speed limit on Ruahine St and Cobham Drive. The crossing will be raised, functioning as a speed bump.

Steve Sanderson, Chief Executive of Wellington Airport, said the proposed pedestrian crossing will increase congestion and delays for 35,000 daily road users in favour of an estimated 250 walkers and cyclists.

“Cobham Drive is a gold standard example of State Highway and cycleway design. It is long and straight with four lanes, separated by a wide median strip, and the excellent new cycle path keeps walking and cycling separate from vehicle traffic. Putting a pedestrian crossing on this road will undermine this gold standard separation of traffic, by mingling pedestrians and cyclists with cars and trucks.

“We would like to see LGWM give serious and proper consideration to an overpass for Cobham Drive. Wellington needs an innovative solution which meets the needs of both pedestrians and motorists. They should do the job properly rather than opting for a cheaper solution. This would maximise safety and minimise traffic disruption, and is supported by the community.

"Speed bumps, reduced speed limits, and pedestrian crossings will not get Wellington moving. These projects slow Wellington down rather than speeding it up.

“It is critical LGWM is developed as a whole package including mass transit corridors and excellent public transport to the airport, rather than simply carrying out piecemeal projects such as a pedestrian crossing that will slow down traffic along State Highway One. We are calling on LGWM to prioritise its major projects rather than focus on ‘early wins’.

“It doesn’t make any sense to develop a pedestrian crossing and choke up traffic before making the substantial improvements Wellingtonians are demanding.

“Wellington Airport has significant expertise and experience in developing successful infrastructure projects and would be happy to provide our input to assessing alternatives. We have raised our concerns directly with LGWM and have provided a written submission.”