Mobility on the Great Harbour Way

How easy is it to experience Te Aranui o Pōneke by mobility scooter? Mobility advocate Neil Newman set out to explore the GHW from Scorching Bay to the Wellington Waterfront.

Shelly Bay Rd, no footpath

One problem is the Miramar peninsula road, which from Scorching Bay to the Miramar Cutting has little or no shoulder or footpath. A mobility scooter user feels vulnerable riding on this narrow road, so instead Neil headed south from Scorching Bay to the Seatoun Tunnel and through Strathmore and Miramar to rejoin the GHW at the Miramar Cutting.

While there is an adequate footpath through Karaka Bay, it is narrow, and sometimes blocked by vegetation and parked cars.

The East-West ferry provides a connection between the city, Day’s Bay, and Seatoun, but the wharf at Seatoun has a barrier that would need to be modified to be used by a mobility scooter.

The Seatoun tunnel footpath is barely wide enough for a mobility scooter, a challenge when meeting runners and dog walkers coming in the other direction.

Back on the GHW on Cobham Drive, the shared path is fine for a mobility scooter, and passing joggers are prepared to give a push on slopes that challenge ailing batteries.

The Wellington Waterfront is mobility friendly – walkers, cyclists and mobility scooters can coexist with minimal problems.

At Queen’s Wharf, Neil met Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Councillor Bryan Pepperell. Neil estimates there are at least 400 active mobility scooter users in the Wellington area. “Mobility scooters are not just for old people” – the Great Harbour Way/ Te Aranui o Pōneke is a “great opportunity” for mobility scooter users to explore their environment.

Thanks to Alan of Mobility Centre for logistical advice.
More images on Flickr

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