There is a lot going on in the Wellington region. The Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road project is working with key stakeholders to understand the impact of proposed changes and how we can design a solution that considers future growth and other projects. 

Significant regional considerations are: 

  • the wider Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme 
  • growth in the region  
  • Wellington's northern corridor – State Highway 1 north of Wellington 
  • Te Ara Tupua - walking and biking route between Wellington and the Hutt Valley 
  • Cook Strait ferries 
  • rail improvements and growth in train patronage 
  • bus network improvements. 

Fit with the wider Let's Get Wellington Moving programme

Changes on Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road are an important early part of the Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme. They will improve transport choices for people travelling between the northern suburbs and the central city, support future growth in the city and region, and help move more people with fewer vehicles. The proposed changes will connect with and support other elements of the Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme, including:

  • Improvements to the Golden Mile
  • A new mass rapid transit starting at the Railway Station, and
  • Walking, cycling and bus improvements between the suburbs and the central city.

Regional growth 

Both Wellington City and the wider region are expecting significant growth in residential housing. Considerable growth in jobs is still expected in the central city. It is predicted that an additional 8,000 to 12,000 people are likely to need to access the city from the north in the morning peak in 2036. People will need to travel on the train or use the state highway or Hutt Road to reach the city, whether on the bus, by bike or scooter, private motor vehicle or on foot.  

Find out more about Planning for Growth   

Find out more about the Wellington regional growth framework   

Te Ara Tupua  

Waka Kotahi is partnering with Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Hutt City Council to provide a  walking and cycling route between Ngauranga and Melling. When completed, Te Ara Tupua will create a safe and efficient 12km route between Wellington's central city and the Hutt Valley, and connect with other walking and cycling paths such as the Petone Esplanade and Hutt River Trail. 

We expect to see a lot more people walking and cycling when Te Ara Tupua is opened. By 2035 we estimate around 2,200 weekday cycle trips on the new path – more than three times the number of cycle trips made on State Highway 2 today. 

Find out more about Te Ara Tupua   

Cook Strait ferries 

Interislander (KiwiRail) are in the process of procuring two new, larger ferries which will increase the capacity of the vital transport link between the North and South Islands. Currently Interislander operates a fleet of three ferries, crossing Cook Strait about 4,000 times a year, moving around 800,000 passengers, 250,000 cars and a million tonnes of freight.  

The new ferries will be nearly 40 metres longer and at least five metres wider than the current vessels, to meet the expected freight and passenger growth over the next 30 years. The two new ferries will be able to carry twice as many passengers as the current three-ship fleet, 300% more rail wagons and almost double the number of trucks and other vehicles. 

CentrePort, Wellington City Council, the Regional Council and both ferry companies are currently investigating the development of a multi-user ferry terminal at Kaiwharawhara. 

Both of these activities will lead to an increase in traffic requiring access to and from Kaiwharawhara. To and from the north, Hutt Road provides this only access. The project team is working closely with all the interested parties to make sure that the project and options for the ferries work together and have a coordinated approach for construction activities.  

Find out more about the Interislander ferries, the new generation of ferries and the planned new ferry terminal at Kaiwharawhara

Rail improvements 

Wellingtonians and visitors take more than 14 million passenger journeys a year on the Wellington Metro Rail Network. About 42,000 trips are made per weekday (at peak) served by around 2,250 Metlink commuter trains in a typical week. More than 100 KiwiRail freight trains and 16 inter-regional trains also use the rail network in a typical week, connecting Wellington with the north, the port and the South Island via the interisland ferry connections.

Investment in the last decade has resulted in substantial patronage growth – more than 20% over the last decade (twice the rate of population growth). The Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme assumes 14.2 million peak patronage by 2035.  

The number and type of vehicles requiring access on Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road in the future will be dependent upon the capacity of the rail network.

Find out more about future rail projects and rail in Wellington

Bus networks 

Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road provide a critical link for buses connecting Wellington’s rapidly growing northern suburbs, including current and planned development in Johnsonville, Churton Park, Woodridge, Grenada Village and Lincolnshire Farms. Providing peak time bus lanes will support faster and more reliable bus journeys, making travel by bus a more attractive option for commuters from these suburbs. 

Find out more

Wellington's northern corridor  

When fully completed, the 100km State Highway 1 (Wellington's northern corridor) will provide a safer, more reliable and more efficient highway connection from Wellington to Levin, and to the wider North Island.  This corridor includes the completed Kapiti and Mackays to Peka Peka Expressways, and the Transmission Gully, Peka Peka to Otaki and Otaki to North of Levin projects.

We are seeing overall growth in the number of vehicles on the state highway network in the Wellington region, which reflects the region’s population growth. Every day, there are two new vehicles on the road, which means our network is slowly reaching full vehicle capacity during peak travel times. For example, following the opening of Transmission Gully an additional 600 vehicles are expected to use the state highway and/or Hutt Road to access Wellington City per day; equating to an estimated 150 additional vehicles per hour in the morning and afternoon peaks. 

Find out more about Wellington's northern SH1 corridor