Transport chaos wake-up call to Government over infrastructure

Date Added: 3rd July 2019 from

Today’s transport chaos in Wellington is yet another wake-up call to the Government and the councils that our infrastructure is very fragile and urgently needs more investment, says Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

"Today’s derailment, which has affected 20,000 commuters on rail and jammed a similar number on the roads, is further evidence that we don’t have enough resilience in our transport infrastructure.

"We are stuck with narrow corridors thanks to being squeezed between the hills and the sea, so our infrastructure must be resilient to all eventualities.

"It is clearly far from that.

"We have a limited number of roads and rail lines, and when something happens to them then this sort of chaos is the result.

"It’s crazy that in the 21st century our capital city has to put up with this.

"It’s all about resilience. We need more investment put into roading and rail and buses and the corridors they use, and we need it now.

"The real problem is that the Government has deferred solutions till well into the future.

"Let’s Get Wellington Moving and the Petone to Grenada link are prime examples of this.

"Businesses and the public made it very clear what they needed and expected from the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project, but they’re not getting the big parts of it for many, many years.

"We need the two tunnels and the grade separation at the Basin as soon as possible, not in 20 or 30 years.

"The Petone to Grenada link would have made a big difference today but that’s been put on hold till the end of next decade, so that part of the transport network remains vulnerable, as we also saw earlier this year with a slip on Highway 2.

"The rail corridor is clearly also inadequate and needs more serious investment to make it more resilient.

"The Government needs to open its eyes to what’s happening in its own back yard and get on and make these fixes."