It will soon be safer to cycle from Lower Hutt to Wellington thanks to a new cycleway.
Wellington City Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee recently voted in support of the recommended staged approach to implementing the cycleway and other transport changes along Hutt Road.
The plan was voted for unanimously by councillors and will mean an upgraded path with a two-way cycleway, as well as a dedicated pedestrian path.
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The Hutt Road cycleway will be the first in Wellington to benefit from the Government’s Urban Cycleways Programme, with two-thirds of the $9m cost for the Ngauranga to CBD route coming from the Urban Cycleways Fund and National Land Transport Fund.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the staged approach is a sensible way forward and will ensure that the cycleway is built.
“The need for a safer cycling path along Hutt Road is growing steadily and with support from our funding partner, the NZ Transport Agency, the council has been able to make this a high priority.”
Hutt Road is one of the busiest cycling routes in Wellington, with cycling demand growing year on year. At peak times, there are more than 400 riders an hour which is twice as many people as ten years ago. It has a poor safety record with 26 reported crashes involving a cyclist between 2009–2013.
“The upgraded path will mean safety is improved and it will be a much more pleasant ride, walk, or run for those who already use it. It will encourage more people to travel by bike and is a great start as we work towards reducing congestion along Hutt Road and creating a cycle network in the city. Fewer cars will help to make Wellington a more sustainable and attractive place to live,” said Mayor Wade-Brown.
However there have been concerns about the proposed plan as parking will have to be transformed into cycleway. The chair of the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, Councillor Andy Foster, says the parking situation is less than ideal especially for pedestrians.
“Most of the construction work can go ahead as planned, including bus priority lanes and new pedestrian and cycle crossings at the Ngauranga intersection. However we need to establish how many people park near their place of work in the immediate area and how many are commuters who park and continue on into the city on foot, by bike or public transport.”
Detailed design work will get under way and construction could begin within months.