Wellington City Council to investigate car-free central city by 2025

Author
Georgina Campbell,
Publish Date
Thu, 8 Apr 2021, 2:31PM
Lambton Quay, Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Lambton Quay, Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Wellington City Council to investigate car-free central city by 2025

Author
Georgina Campbell,
Publish Date
Thu, 8 Apr 2021, 2:31PM

Wellington City Council is set to investigate a move that would effectively ban cars from the central city by 2025.

A notice of motion will be tabled at a City Strategy and Policy Committee meeting today asking for a report that explores a fossil-fuel-free CBD.

It's being led by climate change portfolio leader councillor Tamatha Paul, who has timed the move in honour of the fourth School Strike 4 Climate tomorrow.

Paul said the move was in line with the council's climate emergency declaration as well as having health, community and safety co-benefits.

"We have until the end of this decade to halve our carbon emissions, 40 per cent of which comes from transport.

"We need a strong and clear 21st-century vision for our inner city, and that cannot be dominated by private vehicles."

Paul said the report would come back within the next few months, giving the council time to work with other partners to dramatically improve public and active transport options.

Councillors who signed the notice of motion in support are Laurie Foon, Teri O'Neill, Iona Pannett, Jill Day, Jenny Condie, Rebecca Matthews, Fleur Fitzsimons and Sean Rush.

Rush said it was a vision that deserved further investigation.

"It needs to be balanced by fringe car parking and completion of the inner-city bypass."

Removing private vehicles from the Golden Mile is also on the table as part of the $6.4 billion Let's Get Wellington Moving transport project.

The Golden Mile is one of the busiest pedestrian areas in the country, running from Lambton Quay, through Willis and Manners Sts to Courtenay Place.

Results of an engagement survey released in October showed most Wellingtonians wanted significant change to the city's Golden Mile - including banning general traffic and converting three quarters of the space to pedestrian zones.

But retailers have raised concerns their businesses will suffer if shoppers cannot park on the street nearby, a concern heightened by the unknown future effects of Covid-19.

While Paul's notice of motion will be tabled today, it will be discussed and voted on at a later date.