Plans unveiled today to ease congestion in Wellington - which include another possible flyover at the Basin Reserve - are a "slap in the face of the new Government".

"NZTA's Basin Reserve flyover project was an utter failure and was rightly rejected by the courts," said Save the Basin spokesman Tim Jones today.

An estimated $2.3 billion possible plan to ease traffic in the CBD would involve building tunnels or bridges to separate conflicting traffic movements around the Basin and allow future mass transit.

Let's Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) ruled out the previous Basin flyover proposal, which was rejected by the Board of Inquiry in 2014, but the "range" of other options offered up now still included bridges to deal with traffic woes.


"The Basin Reserve is a unique feature of Wellington and presents a transport challenge," documents outlining the potential changes said.

"With the current road layout, the Basin creates a bottleneck because of conflicts between transport flows. There are issues with travel to and from the airport, the eastern and southern suburbs, and the hospital."

Jones said LGWM and the NZTA knew the people didn't want the flyover plan, "yet here they go again".

"Have the last two years of 'engagement exercises' been a sham? What's the point of putting us through all that malarkey only to come up with the same old, tired motorway-dominated proposals?

"These plans will not get Wellington moving."

The road-first approach would worsen "traffic chaos" throughout the city, he said.

"We need to create viable transport alternatives to reduce dependence on private cars, and make travel easier and safer for the people who really need to use the roads."

He said the attempts to factor in the new Government's aims of reducing carbon emissions and become a carbon neutral economy by 2050 were "pathetic".

"There appears to be no attempt to take into account the new Government's transport priorities."

LGWM have put together four scenarios for Wellington's transport plans, with estimated costs ranging from $150 million to $2.3 billion.

Possible changes include creating more Terrace and Mt Victoria tunnels, prioritising key streets for walking, cycling, and public transport, removing peak-hour parking from Vivian St, reducing car lanes and adding in more cycle lanes.

Proposals would look at turning Vivian St into a two-way street, and moving the Eastbound lane of SH1 from Vivian St to a tunnel on the Inner City Bypass route.

The latter suggestions were all part of the most expensive scenario, which was estimated to cost $1.8-2.3 billion, and take more than 10 years to complete. This also included creating a second Terrace tunnel.

Another scenario, which would cost $1.5-1.8 billion and take up to 10 years to construct, also favoured the changes to Vivian St, and suggested creating high priority public transport lanes from the train station to the Basin, hospital, Kilbirnie, and the airport.

It would also include a new Mt Victoria tunnel, with walking and cycling access.

The scenarios focus on developing mass transit for Wellington, a high quality, high capacity form of public transport, usually separated from other traffic.

It could come in the form of light rail or new generation electric buses.

Light rail would add an extra $350-500 million to the cost.

LGWM is a joint initiative between Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the NZTA.