No appeal over Basin Reserve flyover decision

  • 04/09/2015
There will be no flyover next to Wellington's Basin Reserve (Photosport)
There will be no flyover next to Wellington's Basin Reserve (Photosport)

The New Zealand Transport Agency spent more on the now failed Basin Reserve flyover than it does on the Wellington region's roads, Labour says.

Opponents of the flyover are celebrating NZTA's decision not to continue its fight for the controversial project.

The flyover is officially dead and buried with the organisation today announcing it won't appeal a High Court decision which wouldn't allow the $90 million multi-lane highway.

A ruling from the court last month backed a Board of Inquiry decision into the $90 million proposal which ultimately declined the idea.

Today, NZTA acting chief executive Jenny Chetwynd says it appealed to the Board's decision to clarify the law around the project and for other infrastructure projects around the country.

"We have listened to and considered the High Court's decision, and we accept its findings," she says.

"This clarity will be valuable when we, and other infrastructure providers, are preparing for future projects."

The High Court ruling means the proposed multi-lane highway won't go ahead because it doesn't have the required approval.

NZTA wants to work with community groups and local councils, including the Wellington City Council and Wellington Regional Council to talk about other solutions.

The area around the heritage-listed cricket ground has proven to be a traffic headache for the region which still needs to be fixed, NZTA says.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says with the flyover debate over, it is time to look at better options for the city.

"In not appealing, NZTA have made the right decision.

"There are a number of opportunities to smooth the flow of traffic and make some time savings," Ms Wade-Brown says.

The council will work with the Greater Wellington Regional Council, NZTA and Wellingtonians for a long-term solution including better public transport and urban cycleways, she says.

Save the Basin Campaign spokesman Tim Jones says the NZTA has taken a while to "come to its sense" and now was the time for interested parties to talk about the best alternatives to handle the traffic problems.

Labour's Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson says NZTA spent more on the now failed flyover idea than it does on the region's roads in a year.

In a written Parliamentary question to him, Mr Robertson says NZTA spent $12.3 million on the flyover, with more than $1 million spent since the proposal was rejected by the board.

"It has been a colossal waste of money and time.

"This court case was the very definition of flogging a dead horse and should never have been undertaken." 

After the High Court ruling came out, Prime Minister John Key said flyover or not, the city's traffic problems need to be sorted out.

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