Back on track: fixing the strategy
As you can see on the countdown in my sidebar, this Friday is the deadline for submissions on the Wellington Regional Land Transport Strategy and Regional Passenger Transport Plan. These could be among the most important decisions made for the future of the Wellington region, and I believe they're getting it terribly wrong. I've written at length before about the shortcomings of these strategies and the madness of spending 90% of new capacity investment on roads, so I won't repeat the arguments here.
But Option 3 are helping you get involved, and they've prepared a printable submission form (119kB PDF) for you to send in. If you want to use Greater Wellington's online form instead, but would like to include some of Option 3's detailed concrete suggestions, I've extracted them from the PDF and added them below so that you can paste them into the form.
I want the Council to make the following changes:
- I want the regional council to take climate change seriously and start now to give people more climate-friendly transport options.
- The top priority for the regional land transport strategy ought to be vastly improved rail and bus services and facilities, together with much easier and safer walking and cycling.
- Major investment in better public transport, walking and cycling is necessary and needs to happen first, before any investment in big roading projects.
- At least half of the planned investment in additional services and facilities over the next ten years ought to be going on public transport, walking and cycling.
- I would like to see the following specific proposals included in the regional land transport strategy as actions to be completed in the next 10 years:
- Purchase sufficient new, easy-to-board rail units to meet growing demand on all lines
- Increase bus and train frequency and reliability for all services
- introduce genuine express services on the Hutt and Kapiti rail lines
- Increase park and ride capacity and improve access and lighting at train stations
- Increase reliability and frequency of bus services linking to train services
- Introduce 'taxi-train' and 'taxi-bus' tickets for late night door-to-door service
- Provide reliable real-time information at all well-used bus and train stops
- Introduce 'single ticket' travel so people can change services without paying more
- Allow bicycles on trains for no charge and trial free bike/pram racks on buses
- Increase cycle parking and storage at stations and in urban areas
- Focus roading investment on safety improvements for all road users
- Give pedestrians priority in inner-city areas and increase use of 30 km/hr zones
- Build a two-way rail tunnel from Pukerua Bay to Paekakariki
- Create a walking and cycling track on the old rail route
- Double-track rail lines from McKay's Crossing to Waikanae
- Extend electric rail services to Otaki
- Introduce express passing tracks south of Plimmerton
- Provide new stations, starting with Raumati South and Lindale
- Double-track rail lines from Trentham to Timberlea, helping eliminate clashes between Wairarapa and Upper Hutt services
- Extend the electrified service to Timberlea and then to the Wairarapa
- Introduce express passing tracks
- Provide a light rail connection across the Hutt Valley between Melling and Waterloo
- Provide more and better cycleways
- Add a small amount of extra track so Kapiti and Hutt lines can continue as separate lines into the Wellington station (rather than merge at Kaiwharawhara) to help eliminate peak-time delays
- Extend the reach of rail services by introducing a light rail link, initially between Wellington Station and Courtenay Place
- Create a downtown check-in and airport shuttle for Wellington airport users
- Introduce more orbital bus services so it is easier to travel directly between suburbs
- Complete the "Great Harbour" cycle and walkway linking Lambton Harbour and Eastbourne