Wellington Mayor Justin Lester supports dropping inner city speed limits to 30km/h

A Wellington lobby group is putting pressure on the council to drop inner city speed limits to 30 km/h and to prioritise walkers.

Talk Wellington says the so-called 'walkable city' is anything but, and those who travel by foot are currently 'second class citizens'.

The group released its vision for the future and says if the capital is going to be a world class city, it needs to adopt a people first strategy:

For example, a virtual Lambton Quay has been created - but not as we know it.

It's car-less; walk and bike friendly, with access to light rail.

"'If you build it, they will come', actually does apply for transport," said Isabella Cawthorn, Talk Wellington convenor.

"In Wellington for the last 30 to 40 years, we have been building for driving and we've got more driving."

Locals are behind the idea of car-free areas like Cuba Mall.

"Anything that could help, there are a lot more areas that I could see being closed off," said one Wellingtonian, while another said: "You look at the bottom end of Cuba Street and it's a great atmosphere, people can just wander about, people don't have to think about where they're going."

Talk Wellington also says the city is in dire need of light rail to the hospital in Newtown, to the eastern suburbs, and to the airport.

It also wants to drop the speed limit in the CBD to 30 kilometres an hour, and the mayor's in favour.

"I think it's a no-brainer to have lower speeds in your CBD because to be honest you can't get much above 30km/h anyway and you want to have more of a focus on people," said Justin Lester.

Around 70 percent of transport money in Wellington is currently spent on the roads, while less than five percent is for walking and cycling facilities.

Lester says there's no denying things need a re-jig.

"If you want to get more people walking, cycling, on public transport then you need to spend more money and invest in it and that's what we want to see."

But Talk Wellington wants to see more action now.


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