Work to revitalise Wellington’s Golden Mile has the green light following plans, traffic resolutions, and funding being approved by Wellington City Council and Waka Kotahi.
The project will create a safe and beautiful heart of the city with generous spaces, attractive native trees and mana whenua designs, for people to shop, work or socialise, by shifting the focus to public transport, walking and cycling and reducing reliance on private vehicles.
Let’s Get Wellington Moving has received the go ahead to revitalise the Golden Mile. On 29 June, Wellington City Councillors approved the five traffic resolutions (with some changes in response to your feedback); the design; and their share of the $139.4 million cost of the project. On 6 July, the Board of Waka Kotahi approved funding for their share. Our third partner, Greater Wellington Regional Council, is funding new bus shelters as well as electronic and audio messaging at bus stops.
We want to thank all those who took the time to participate in our recent consultation on the proposed traffic resolutions, which informed Councillors’ discussions and decisions. We received almost 2,200 responses to our survey, with good numbers attending briefings, drop-in sessions, and a webinar, and around 100 people making an oral submission to Councillors. The Golden Mile Engagement Report, summarising what we heard, is now available on our website.
This project will help create a world-class city we can all be proud of, and a legacy to pass onto our children and grandchildren.
Our funding partners have chosen to prioritise people – whether they’re on buses, bikes, or on foot – and to make the heart of the city a safe and attractive place to work, shop or socialise.
These changes create the opportunity for generous and beautiful spaces with native trees and plants, which will draw Wellingtonians and visitors alike, to spend time in and enjoy the city centre.
Designs developed with Mana Whenua artists will tell the history of the area, including the location of streams, and incorporate cultural design elements including ngā ūranga and kai tables.
Wider footpaths, together with more mobility parks, the closure of some side streets, and improved lighting will ensure our city is more accessible and safer for all.
People commuting into and through the city will experience more reliable bus travel times, better bus shelters, and clear electronic and audio signage at stops.
Dedicated cycle paths on the wider parts of the route will help to safely separate those on bikes and e-scooters from those on foot.
We listened to the feedback we heard during LGWM’s consultation process. From this, Councillors decided to:
- Reduce the hours of operation of special vehicle lanes on Courtenay Place to 7am to 7pm daily, (rather than 7am to 9pm) which means food delivery services will have better access to the Golden Mile at key times, and better enable pick-ups and drop-offs on Courtenay Place, including at the St James Theatre.
- Adjust the times when motor vehicles can access the Courtenay Place service road loop to correspond with the revised special vehicle lane times of operation, ie 7pm to 7am.
- Suspend changes to Manners Street between Taranaki and Cuba Street until there is more certainty on any planned changes to lower Cuba Street, which will enable cyclists to continue to travel along Taranaki, Willis and lower Cuba Street for now.
- Change the use of loading bays to ensure that any vehicle with an authorisation (ie all classes of Authorised Vehicles), including a private car with an authorisation, can use the bays for loading and unloading.
- Change one P120 metred car park to a P10 Loading Zone (with no restriction on vehicle type) on Johnston Street (close to the Golden Mile).
- Add mobility parking permit holders as an additional category who are eligible to be granted an authorisation under the authorisation system, and to provide for authorisations of 6 or 12 months for mobility parking permit holders, so that they can access the Golden Mile on a longer-term basis.
Councillors also agreed to:
- Approve wheeled recreational devices, like e-scooters, to use all cycle paths on Lambton Quay from Bowen to Willis Street, and on Courtenay Place from Taranaki Street to Cambridge Terrace, including side streets.
- Review the location and design of bus stops and shelters along the Golden Mile in the next two months, with Waka Kotahi and Greater Wellington Regional Council, and report back to Council.
- Establish a Business Advisory Group to engage with members of the Wellington business community to inform the design and delivery of the LGWM projects.
- Instruct Officers to develop a policy with criteria and rules for the authorisation system and report back to Council to make a final decision.
Councillors also noted that the iwi liaison working group should continue to be engaged with proactively and appropriately.
The agenda and minutes of the meeting are available on the WCC website.
What happens next?
Underground site investigations have resumed this week to inform and finalise planning. Crews will be working on both Courtenay Place and Lambton Quay, between 7pm to 5am, from Sunday-Thursday nights only. Mats and acoustic screens will be used to reduce noise, and trenches will be made safe during the day, so there will be no impact on businesses, traffic or pedestrians, including those with mobility issues.
Early works will begin in September this year, with main construction works currently scheduled from mid-2024.
LGWM is finalising the phasing of the main construction. We will work with residents, businesses, organisations, and services to share information about the works, and to understand their delivery and access needs.
Support for businesses
Both LGWM and WCC have heard concerns from businesses and others about the impact of the main construction work. We are working together to minimise the impact of construction and are investigating other ways we can support Wellingtonians, and to continue to engage with businesses on the Golden Mile through the period of disruption.
Finally, we are very excited to have achieved this significant milestone for the Golden Mile project, and to have the mandate to get on and deliver this important work. Thank you to all those who gave feedback, as well as our partners – Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and Waka Kotahi for their work and support; and Te Piringa, our Mana Whenua partners.
Like you, we are all passionate Wellingtonians, wanting the best for our city, both now and for our tamariki well into the future.