Wellington Airport speaks out against roading changes proposed by Let's Get Wellington Moving

Wellington Airport has spoken out against a proposed pedestrian crossing and speed bump on State Highway 1 being constructed that it says will make driving to and from the airport take much longer.

Let's Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) is a joint initiative between Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. It proposes a traffic-lighted crossing over Cobham Drive, which is also part of State Highway 1, by the ASB Sports Centre. 

Wellington Airport says an overpass should be built instead.

As well as the lights and speed bump, LGWM has also proposed changing the speed limit on Ruahine Street from 70km/h to 50km/h; and on Cobham Drive and Calabar Road from 70km/h to 60km/h. 

Proposed crossing
Proposed crossing Photo credit: LGWM

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.

Proposed speed limit changes.
Proposed speed limit changes. Photo credit: LGWM

"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," Sanderson said.

"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."

LGWM has been approached for comment.