Concern about planned bus depot at Shelly Bay Road

This letter to the editor appeared in the 27 June edition of the Dominion Post.

Wellington City Council commenced public consultation in April to upgrade the road from Miramar Cutting to the proposed Shelly Bay development including safe walking and cycling. NZ Bus has applied for resource consent to build a bus terminal beside Miramar’s Burnham Wharf.

This is the premier cycling road in Wellington – flat, and today used by few vehicles. It is a vital component of the Great Harbour Way trail which encircles our beautiful harbour and is also a much-valued asset for the whole city.

We are alarmed that a multitude of buses will join convoys of trucks to threaten this route for over a decade should the Shelly Bay development proceed. Any narrow cycle and walk-way on the roadside adjacent to the depot will be dangerous.

If the bus terminal is consented on this prime waterfront site, safety will only be possible if the trail is put on the water’s edge away from road traffic.

We believe that no work should be started on the Shelly Bay development or the bus terminal until safe access is assured for walkers and cyclists on the Great Harbour Way.

Great Harbour Way hails opening of Cobham Drive path

The opening today of the Cobham Drive walking and cycling paths has transformed this section of Te Aranaui o Pōneke, the Great Harbour Way, into a feature of the harbour perimeter pathway.

Opening of the Cobham Drive path
The opening ceremony of the Cobham Drive walking and cycling paths – starting with the wiata and blessing to open the path

“This fills in an important jigsaw piece in the completion of Te Aranui o Pōneke/the Great Harbour Way,” GHW Trustees Chair Graeme Hall said.

Opening of the Cobham Drive path
Ohariu MP Greg O’Connor speaking on behalf of  Transport Minister Michael Wood, with Mayor Andy Foster and Deputy Mayor Sarah Free.

“With breakthough approvals recently granted for Te Ara Tupua (the Petone to Ngauranga path) and the Eastern Bays (Eastbourne) path, the dream of having a walking-cycling path around the entire 72km perimeter of our wonderful harbour is almost a reality.”

GHW has recently had constructive talks with Centreport about the prospect of a path through, over or under the port, the only section of the GHW where the path doesn’t touch the harbour, Mr Hall said.

“Wellingtonians love the waterfront and that linear park will soon stretch from Red Rocks to Baring Head. In one of Wellington’s gateways, the new Cobham Drive walking and cycling paths showcase what is possible – to make walking, cycling, scooting or whatever, attractive options for commuting and leisure.”

Former Mayor and GHW trustee, Celia Wade Brown congratulated the City Council for recognising that cycling and walking are integral to making Wellington one of the most liveable cities in the world.

Opening of the Cobham Drive path
A large attendance of people celebrated the official opening of the path.

Founder of the Great Harbour Way concept, Mary Varnham, said that as the Great Harbour Way nears completion, it will become a magnet to locals and domestic tourists alike. 

“The completition of these harmoniously-designed walking and cycling paths on Cobham Drive, taking in Meridian Energy’s Wind Sculpture Walk, has transformed this section into one of the features of the Great Harbour Way.”  

For further information, contact Graeme Hall 021 606 101

The Great Harbour Way/ Te Aranui o Pōneke is a 72 km walking and cycling route around Te Whanganui-a-tara, the harbour of Wellington, from Ōrua-pouanui /Baring Head in the east, to Te Rimurapa/Sinclair Head in the west. Few, if any, opportunities exist elsewhere in the world to walk or cycle the entire coastline of a major city harbour, continually touching the water’s edge.

Great Harbour Way hails fast tracking for Te Ara Tupua

“Completion of this cylcing-walking path, Te Ara Tupua, will plug the biggest gap in Te Aranui o Pōneke,” said GHW chair Graeme Hall. “We have battled decades for this and to see we are now on the downhill slope for construction starting this year is a huge win for the region.”

Trustees of the Te Aranaui o Pōneke, the Great Harbour Way, welcome the fast track, green light given to construct the “shovel-ready” seaside path between Ngaūraunga and Petone.

“We congratulate Te Waka Kotahi on its excellent design that is a winner for ecology, active transport, recreation, heritage interpretation and storm protection.”

Former Mayor and trustee Celia Wade Brown said this section of the Great Harbour Way path will be transformational for commuters, walkers, runners, cyclists and wheelchair riders.

“It will remodel an ugly endurance trek into a path of pleasure beside our beautiful harbour.”

The project also makes the Wellington-Hutt Valley rail link more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Founder of the Great Harbour Way concept, Mary Varnham, says: “The Great Harbour Way will become a magnet to locals and domestic tourists alike. Cafes and businesses will benefit substantially.”

“Walking-cycling paths to Lower Hutt, the Remutaka Incline and the Wairarapa South Coast will help give Wellingtonians huge, new adventure, recreational and commuting opportunities.”

New images and videos show updated Te Ara Tupua design

Click to view an animated fly-through of the Ngā Ūranga to Pito-One section of Te Ara Tupua

From Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency:

In the lead up to making our consent applications, we are sharing updated images and videos that show the tweaks and changes that have been made to the project’s design since we shared plans last year. 

One of the key design changes is a move to protect and preserve sensitive habitat areas. Located along the coast, existing gravel ‘beach’ areas provide valuable habitat for native species.

To reduce the project’s footprint in these beach areas, a vertical seawall will be incorporated into the path’s coastal edge. Ecological screens on top of these seawalls will prevent people from accessing the beaches, and reduce disturbance to the birds and other species that use these habitats.

You can see the locations of these habitat areas, as well as the path’s ūranga (landings) that provide space for people to gather – along with the project’s other key features in our new fly-through video.

You can get another view of these changes and the overall design in our new image gallery, and check out the project team explaining the work they’ve been doing on our videos page