Golden Mile revitalisation

We’re revitalising the Golden Mile to move more people with fewer vehicles, creating space for thriving and attractive streets in the heart of Wellington.

Where this project is happening

The ‘Golden Mile’ is the main retail and commercial strip from the Parliament end of Lambton Quay, along Willis and Manners Streets, to the entertainment hub of Courtenay Place. The Golden Mile is a valuable asset for our city and region. It’s our high street, it’s where we meet, and it’s the main route for buses bringing people into and through the central city. It’s the city’s busiest pedestrian area and our prime employment, shopping, and entertainment destination.

About this project

Our goal at Let’s Get Wellington Moving, is to build a world-class, low-carbon capital city we can all be proud of, where more people can get around more easily and reliably, with streets that are beautiful and safe so that new housing and business will flourish. Wellington’s unique geography, compact city, and small number of road networks means we face unique transport challenges. To make improvements and create a more liveable central city, we must make decisions around how we use the space we have, which means moving more people with fewer vehicles.   
New and improved ways of getting around means we won’t need to depend on cars to access the central city as often, which will help make Wellington a more liveable city and cut back on our carbon emissions. This is about building a better future for the city, the region, it’s people and the planet.  
Revitalising areas of the Golden Mile will create a more vibrant and welcoming place to live, work and play as well as make it safer to get around.    
The Golden Mile project aims to improve bus reliability and provide opportunities for walking, cycling, and more open spaces. This means better lighting, wider footpaths, more public seating, outdoor dining opportunities and more.  
The Golden Mile is part of Let’s get Wellington Moving's Three-Year Programme – a collection of projects that need to be delivered now, to make the bigger ones - like mass rapid transit, an extra Mt Victoria Tunnel, and the Basin Reserve - possible.  

What's happened so far

We’ve been talking with Wellington communities, stakeholders, building owners and businesses about the future of the Golden Mile since 2019 when we set the Golden Mile Vision together.  
Following the 2020 consultation on the three Golden Mile options (Streamline, Prioritise and Transform), we announced that ‘Transform’ was the preferred option. This decision reflects the kind of city people told us they want - a compact, liveable city that’s safe and easy to move around. 

Since the business case approval in November 2021, our team has been developing detailed designs for the Golden Mile improvements. Once the Golden Mile is revitalised, whether you walk, bus, cycle, scoot, use a wheelchair, or drive, things will work differently to how they do now. Leaving your car at home will be easier for those who can, because you’ll have better options for getting around the city. For those who need to get around by car, you’ll still have options, they’ll just look different to how they do now. For example, you might need to park in a different location than you normally would. 
Some big decisions have already been made.  
The Golden Mile project will remove private vehicle access from along the Golden Mile, prioritising walking, cycling and customer-focused bus services. Reducing the Golden Mile to one lane in each direction will make it a safer and more pleasant place for you to walk, shop and dine. New shared spaces, plantings, seating, and other improvements will aim to revitalise the city centre’s retail, social, cultural and entertainment experience. Buses will stay on the Golden Mile, with changes to help them run more reliably and efficiently. People who use electric and non-electric bikes, scooters, and skateboards will also have better access, especially on Lambton Quay and Courtenay Place where there will be dedicated cycle paths for them.  

Cars and other private vehicles won’t be able to directly access Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Manners Street or Courtenay Place. Many of the side streets will also be closed off along the length of the Golden Mile. Instead, drivers will use other routes around the central city. We continue to work closely with stakeholders, businesses, residents and building owners on the Golden Mile and its side streets to make sure things like access, deliveries, loading zones, street layout, side street layout, mobility parking and personal safety are all considered in the improvements.   

What’s happening now

Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the detailed designs for the Golden Mile during the public engagement period from 11 July-14 August 2022. This included loading zone locations, bus stops, side street layout, and ideas for shared spaces. We are currently analysing the comments received and will share the Engagement report later this year.

Transforming the Golden Mile: preferred option chosen to advance to final stage of business case

In June 2021, based on community feedback and further technical refinement, we announced that ‘Transform’ was the preferred option to be taken forward to the final stage of the business case. When making refinements, we were guided by what Wellingtonians told us they liked or didn’t like about the concepts proposed. This feedback helped guide our thinking and how we could:  

  • allow certain commercial and delivery vehicles to use the Golden Mile at certain times. This would mean keeping some loading bays on the Golden Mile whilst moving others to side roads (and moving taxi stands to the side roads) 
  • keep Tory Street open to private vehicles for through movements, while closing turns to and from Courtenay Place  
  • consolidate existing bus stops by installing a new combination of in-line and indent (or set back) bus stops
  • apply a staged approach to making changes.  

Business Case approved

The Let’s Get Wellington Moving partners approved the Golden Mile Single Stage Business Case in October and November 2021.    

The Single Stage Business case outlines the plan and preferred way forward for the Golden Mile. It demonstrates the case for change, identifying the preferred option, and costs of making the change. It also outlined how Let’s Get Wellington Moving will progress the detailed design phase through to late 2022.  

Since the Business Case’s approval, the project team has been working on the next steps for the Golden Mile project. This work has included advancing detailed streetscape and cultural/heritage plans as well as carrying out detailed site assessments (for example, surveying and underground utility assessments). We’ll be engaging with the community, businesses, building owners and key stakeholders along the Golden Mile, including its side streets, as we develop these more detailed designs. 

What does the Transform option include?

At a high-level, the features of Transform (the preferred option) include: 

  • Removing private motor vehicle access from the Golden Mile 
  • One bus lane in each direction along the entire Golden Mile (with no physical separation between the lanes). At each end of the Golden Mile, buses will pull into bus bays. At other stops along the Mile, buses will stop in traffic lanes, however other buses will have the ability to pass   
  • Closing the following streets ending on the Golden Mile:
    • Blair Street 
    • Allen Street  
    • Cuba Street  
    • Mercer Street 
    • Ballance Street  
    • Stout Street  
    • Waring Taylor Street  
    • Johnston Street  
    • Brandon Street 
    • Panama Street  
    • North/south through traffic at the Tory Street/Courtenay Place intersection will be allowed 
  • Providing dedicated or shared space for cyclists and fast active modes, for example, e-scooters on Courtenay Place and Lambton Quay (north of Panama Street) 
  • Relocating some loading zones and taxi stands to side streets (loading zones for large service vehicles will be provided on the Golden Mile based on time-based arrangements) 
  • Removing on-street car parking on the Golden Mile (and modifying existing parking arrangements on side roads connecting to the Golden Mile) 
  • Allowing emergency vehicle access 24/7
  • Consolidating bus stops to improve bus reliability, a maximum five-minute walk to a bus stop (for someone walking at an average speed). 

There is a range of features that aren’t included in the ‘Transform’ scope. These include: 

  • Changes to fares and pricing structures of bus and/or taxi services 
  • Changes to bus fleet (including use of high-capacity buses beyond those already in use) 
  • Changes to bus routes, services and timetables 
  • The addition of new car parks outside of the Golden Mile, changes to car park pricing or parking strategies beyond the extent of the Golden Mile 
  • Major grade separation works and/or changes to roads or intersections beyond the extent of the Golden Mile 
  • Connections to and from the future Mass Rapid Transit, and any future second public transport spine
  • Connections to and from the Let’s Get Wellington Moving City Streets project. 

Retail Assessment and Intercept survey

As a result of feedback from businesses we also commissioned some research to help inform our technical assessments and understand the retail and parking impact. EY's research looked at how the proposed improvements would impact retailers along the Golden Mile. WSP's Golden Mile Intercept Survey investigated people's travel and behaviour patterns on the Golden Mile to help understand how proposed changes to the Golden Mile, including how the removal of on-street parking and improved streetscapes might change things.

Together the reports predict that:

  • widened footpaths, with more space for bikes and scooters will increase access and lead more customers to the Golden Mile, and
  • overall, the positive impacts to businesses are expected to be highest in the Transform option.

If you'd like to know more about these reports, take a look at our:



Late 2019

You told us what you want the future of Golden Mile to be.


Mid 2020

You provided feedback on three options: ‘Streamline’, ‘Prioritise’ and ‘Transform’.

Mid 2021

You told us you want to see the Golden Mile ‘Transformed’.

November 2021

The business case helped us make the final decision on the changes we’ll make to the Golden Mile.   



Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the detailed designs for the Golden Mile during the public engagement (11 July-14 August 2022) including loading zone locations, bus stops, side street layout, and ideas for shared spaces. We are currently analysing the comments received and will share the Engagement report later this year.

2022-2023 (current)

Where we can, we’ll use your feedback to inform and develop our designs further. Once we have a complete design in 2023, we’ll update you on details like how construction will be phased, construction timing and what to expect throughout construction. We’re expecting to start detailed planning for construction later this year, with construction due to start in the first half of 2023.


We will finalise the design and start construction.


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