Planning

Golden Mile improvements

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

About this project

The Golden Mile is an incredible asset for the city and the region. It’s our high street, where we meet, and 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.

Its transformation will create a vibrant and welcoming place to live, work and play as well as make it safer to walk, bike and scoot. Fewer vehicles will mean wider footpaths, better public transport and make it a safer and more pleasant place to walk, shop and dine. Bus services will be improved by having dedicated bus lanes. Bus stops will also be improved, consolidated and relocated to improve bus travel time and reliability.

Changing the shape of the Golden Mile which will also support the Pōneke Promise – a social contract between Wellingtonians, Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, the Police and the City’s hospitality and retail industries to create a CBD and city that is vibrant, inclusive and compassionate.

Together these changes will support and encourage more walking, cycling and public transport use which will help reduce our carbon emissions. Each of the Let’s Get Wellington Moving partners is committed to making changes to reduce the impact that our transport system has on climate change.

 

Where this project is happening

The “Golden Mile” refers to the main retail and commercial strip extending from the Parliament end of Lambton Quay, along Willis St and through to Manners St to the eastern end and entertainment hub of Courtenay Place.

 

What's happened so far

In 2020, nearly 2,000 people told us they wanted to see the Golden Mile transformed by significantly changing the road layout to create wider pedestrian spaces (75% more), bus lanes, dedicated areas for bikes and scooters and removing private motor vehicles. People also provided us with great feedback on what they liked and didn’t like about the three options:

  • Streamline: To take some general traffic off the Golden Mile and make buses more reliable
  • Prioritise: Went further to fully prioritise buses and pedestrians
  • Transform: Changed the road layout to create wider pedestrian spaces (75% more), bus lanes and, some, dedicated areas for people on bikes.

We’ve listened and considered what people and businesses have said alongside technical assessments to see which of the three proposed Golden Mile improvement options would work best for our city.

Feedback from individuals, businesses, groups and organisations can be found in the Golden Mile Engagement Outcomes Summary (PDF | 3MB)

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’s happening now

After weighing up all the options, the Let’s Get Wellington Moving funding partners decided to move ahead with detailed design for the ‘Transform’ option for the Golden Mile. This decision reflects the kind of city people told us they want - a compact, liveable city that’s safe and easy to move around.  


We’ll create vibrant and attractive public spaces, safer walking and biking, and more reliable public transport for the Golden Mile and wider network. This will support and encourage more walking, cycling and public transport use, which will help reduce our carbon emissions.  


During 2022, we’re providing opportunities for you to contribute, and help define the final look, feel and layout of key elements along the Golden Mile:

  • We’re working closely with the Let’s Get Wellington Moving Iwi partnership group. 
  • We’re talking directly with businesses, residents, and building owners on the Golden Mile and side streets to: 
    • get insights into how people use the space along the Golden Mile, and what their access needs might be in the future 
    • plan for how to best minimise impacts during construction. 
  • We carried out four weeks of engagement in February to get input on loading zones, deliveries and access, side street layout, opportunities for shared spaces, and personal safety. Conversations with these groups continue.  This is informing our next steps. 
  • In mid-2022, we’ll share more detailed designs with Wellington communities, explaining how things will work, and providing opportunity for comment.    
  • We’re working closely with the recently appointed physical works contractor who will be carrying out construction activities.  This will enable collaborative design, manage construction risks and to jointly develop construction methodology to minimise impacts on everyone. 
  • We’re carrying out investigations on utilities and topography of the area, as well as specialist archaeological and heritage assessment work to assess the unique heritage of the Golden Mile.  


We’re expecting to start planning for construction later this year, with construction due to start in 2023. We’ll phase it over time to minimise impact on businesses and users. If you have any questions about 2022 engagement, or about the project in general, please email goldenmile@lgwm.nz    

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:

 

Timeline

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.   

 

Late 2021, and 2022 (current)

We’re seeking your views on what the details of the changes could look like, such as loading zone locations, side street layout, and ideas for shared spaces. 

2023

We will finalise the design and start construction.

 

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Email us on: goldenmile@lgwm.nz

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