Residents make preferences known on bus hubs
Public consultation about where to build new Metlink bus hubs in Kilbirnie and Johnsonville has come out in favour of Evans Bay Parade, Kilbirnie, and Moorefield Road, Johnsonville.
In July, Greater Wellington Regional Council sought feedback about three possible hub sites in each of the two suburbs, which are key connectors for the northern and eastern suburbs.
About 65 per cent of respondents from eastern suburbs put Evans Bay Parade as their top preference, while about 45 per cent from northern suburbs opted for Moorefield Road as their first choice.
About 400 submissions were received, and there were also about 7,500 views of the webpage detailing the options.
Greater Wellington’s Sustainable Transport Committee Chair, Cr Barbara Donaldson, says the existing hubs are poorly located and need to go.
“Johnsonville’s current hub is in the carpark of a mall that is scheduled for redevelopment, while Kilbirnie’s is spread over four stops and causes congestion as well as offering little space or shelter for waiting passengers.
“All six options on the table offered advantages and disadvantages, but submitters have made clear which mix of these they prefer.”
Facilities at six other bus hubs across the city will also be upgraded, but their locations will remain unchanged. They are at Wellington Station, the regional hospital in Newtown, Courtenay Place, Miramar, Brooklyn and Karori Tunnel. The total cost of upgrade work is estimated at about $3.5 million.
Relocating some hubs and upgrading others will require new and upgraded shelters, new signage, widened footpaths, new curbing and altered road markings. Some parking spaces will go, but others will be added when disused stops are removed.
Cr Donaldson says the hubs will play a bigger role from next July when major changes to Wellington’s bus network – including more off-peak transfers – take effect.
They will also have improved facilities, including more seating, better shelter and lighting, more screens with information on new bus routes and arrival and departure times, and CCTVs.
A hub on Evans Bay Parade was especially favoured by those travelling through and/or connecting from Miramar. People getting to work, school or university also liked this option.
Many mentioned the current congestion on Rongotai Road. They also signalled that their support assumed there would be better shelter, including over the walk to and from the shopping area in Bay Road.
In Johnsonville, most support for Moorefield Road came from regular commuters. Many said they wanted the hub next to the railway station and the community hub. This also avoided congestion on Johnsonville Road.
Supporters of Moorefield Road also said their backing depended on installation of adequate shelter at the stops because the location was so exposed to the wind and rain.
A joint working group from Greater Wellington and Wellington City Council will oversee design and tendering work. Stakeholders may also get an opportunity, subject to time and budget, to make suggestions about the shelter designs.
Work on the hubs will begin early next year.