Why change is needed

We’re proposing changes to city streets so more people of all ages and abilities can be less dependent on cars and have more choice in how they get around.

This fits perfectly with our aim to make Wellington City an even more sustainable and attractive place to live and visit.

Wellington is growing – in the city and the wider region. About 50,000 to 80,000 more of us will be living in the city in 30 years’ time, and more people from the northern suburbs will want to walk, cycle or take the bus on Hutt Road and Thorndon Quay instead of going by car.

This growth, as well as environmental and health benefits, are the key reasons we need to change and more fairly share the public space in and around our roads.

How we can all help to reduce emissions

Wellington City declared a climate change emergency in 2019, and committed to being a zero carbon capital (net zero emissions) by 2050.

Road vehicle travel makes up 35% of Wellington’s emissions so changing the way we move some or all of the time is a practical thing we can do that’s good for the planet, the city - and our health.

We’re working with the community to plan how we can get around more sustainably in a rapidly changing world.

What you've told us about Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road

You have previously given us feedback to identify what needs to change on Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road for everyone. Your feedback includes:

  • bus travel is slow and unreliable
  • there is no cycle path on Thorndon Quay
  • the safety of cyclists and pedestrians needs to be improved
  • footpaths and the ‘feel’ of Thorndon Quay could be improved
  • there is a lack of safe places to cross the road, including at the Ngauranga/Jarden Mile intersection
  • the quality of existing crossings could be improved
  • the angle parking on Thorndon Quay is unsafe
  • people use the clearways incorrectly
  • the speed of vehicles feels unsafe
  • Hutt Road provides the only access to the Kaiwharawhara ferry terminal from the north.

Project objectives

We have grouped your feedback on Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road into five themes for improvement.


Buses are often stuck behind cars, making travelling by bus slow and unreliable.

This is the busiest bus route outside the central city, carrying about 10,000 passengers per day.

As the population grows, bus travel will become more important because of their capacity to move more people. There will also be increased demand, with more people wanting to take the bus. In the future, with more buses on the road to meet this demand, combined with an increase in general traffic, bus journeys will be even slower and less reliable.

Between 7am and 9am on weekdays, it currently takes about 13 minutes to travel by bus along Hutt Road and Thorndon Quay from Ngauranga/Jarden Mile to Wellington railway station. By 2030, this is expected to take 21 minutes if no improvements are made.

We want to make bus travel times faster and more reliable, making it more attractive for people to use the bus.


There is no cycle path on Thorndon Quay and the angle parking is a particular safety risk to people on bikes. Although there is a dedicated two-way bike path along most of Hutt Road, it is not complete. People who might cycle into the city are put off by these issues.

About 1,300 people bike along Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road now. When Te Ara Tupua is completed, it is expected there will be three times as many people wanting to ride their bikes and they need to be able to do so safely.

We want to improve facilities and safety for people riding their bikes.

Walking and the street environment

The existing footpath widths and street environment on Thorndon Quay don’t make it very attractive to walk, shop or spend time.

About 230 people walk along Thorndon Quay between 7am and 9am. This is expected to increase to about 280 people by 2030 with another 205 people expected to use other devices such as scooters.

We want to improve facilities for pedestrians and improve the Thorndon Quay streetscape so that more people want to spend time there.


Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road have high volumes of traffic with varying speed limits along the route. The Ngauranga/Jardin Mile intersection needs safe places to cross for pedestrians and cyclists, and other crossings along the route need to be improved.

Over the last 10 years there were 133 injury crashes recorded by the Police on Hutt Road and Thorndon Quay. Of these crashes:

  • 60 involved people on bikes (45%)
  • 12 involved people walking (9%)
  • 23 involved motorcyclists (17%).

Over 70% of crashes causing injuries to people cycling on Thorndon Quay are from people opening car doors into the traffic lane, drivers turning into or reversing out of angle parking and u-turning while looking for a car park.

We want to make Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road safer for everyone.

Freight and ferry

Hutt Road provides the only access to the ferry at Kaiwharawhara from the north. It is also a secondary freight route for access to CentrePort and Wellington City. This increases the amount of traffic on Hutt Road and the proportion of trucks using it.

About 12,000 vehicles travel along Thorndon Quay every day whilst Hutt Road can have as many as 30,000 vehicles. By 2036 and with the new bigger ferries and multi-user ferry terminal planned for Kaiwharawhara, it's expected there will be three vehicles along the route for every two there are now (a 50% increase).

We want to make sure that freight and other traffic can reliably get to and from the ferry at Kaiwharawhara.

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