14 Feb 2013

Wellington council urged to back flyover

7:36 am on 14 February 2013

Wellington City Council is being urged to endorse the controversial Basin Reserve flyover project.

Wellington Regional Transport Committee, made up of councils, the Transport Agency and other groups, endorsed the $90 million project on Tuesday and called on the city council to follow suit.

In December last year, Wellington City Council voted to consider alternatives to the flyover, which would be built alongside the city's Basin Reserve cricket ground.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett, who was at the meeting, said Wellington City Council needs to do what's best for the entire region, not just think of Wellingtonians.

He said if the Government and New Zealand Transport Agency are prepared to fund a project to ease traffic congestion and improve access to the city's eastern suburbs, airport and hospital it should be "grabbed with both hands."

Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown says a decision should not be rushed and the council is looking at alternatives, including putting the road underground.

"There's a lot of pressures, but flyovers stay up for 50 years. If we can do something that's better than that we should invest the time."

She expects to have a report on other possible options before a meeting with the Transport Agency on 1 March.