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Project introduction

The NZ Transport Agency is investigating options to deliver a safe and efficient route for cyclists between Ngauranga and Petone along State Highway 2. This project aims to close the gap of the existing cycleway along SH2, support existing cyclists and encourage more people to travel by bike.

  • Estimated project cost

    $10 million–$54 million
  • Project type

    Walking & cycling
  • Project status

    Investigation

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Preferred option CONFIRMED

We are now able to confirm the seaside option is our preference for the Petone to Ngauranga section of the Wellington to Hutt Valley Walking, Cycling and Resilience project. Find out more here.

Purpose

Cycling plays an important role in the way many people choose to travel to work. Cyclists already use local roads or dedicated cycleways to ride between the Wellington central business district and suburbs such as Khandallah, Karori, Newtown and Miramar.

For those travelling between the Hutt Valley and Wellington, their only direct route uses State Highway 2, either in between the traffic lanes and the railway line when heading south towards Wellington or on the shoulder of the road heading north to Petone.

An off-road cycling facility does separate cyclists from highway traffic on the southbound side of SH2, however, this facility is narrow and extends only between Horokiwi and Ngauranga. It is also not suitable for cyclists travelling in both directions, leaving northbound cyclists to use a limit area at the edge of the road.

Benefits

The current cycleway is 4.6km long, extending between Petone and the Ngauranga Gorge intersection with Hutt Road. It offers a clearly identified cycling facility on the southward side of the highway (heading to Wellington) with a dedicated path that separates cyclists from the fast moving highway traffic on State Highway 2 with a wire rope median barrier.

From Petone, there is a 750m section of cycleway that is not separated by a barrier. On the northern side of the highway (heading to Lower Hutt) cyclists use the edge of the road as there is no cyclist-specific area available.

A number of improvements have been made for cyclists on SH2 between Petone and Ngauranga, including cyclist activated signs to highlight to motorists that a cyclist is ahead (particularly at on- and off-ramp locations), a wire-rope barrier on the separate section of cycle path between Horokiwi and Ngauranga, and safer connections to the Esplanade and Hutt Road at Petone.

With 400–500 cyclists using the Ngauranga to Petone corridor on weekdays (of whom about 40% either come from or go to a location north of Petone and 60% exit or enter at the Esplanade) there is a definite demand for better cycling facilities along the SH2 corridor.

Urban Cycleways Programme

Cycling in Wellington is taking a significant step forward following an announcement from the Urban Cycleways Programme. Part of this announcement highlighted that the Wellington to Hutt Valley Walking and Cycling Link will be a key recipient of funding.

Urban Cycleways Programme funding will be used to concentrate on early construction of two sections of the full route between Melling and Wellington CBD: Melling to Petone, and Ngauranga to Wellington CBD.

You may wonder why the remaining middle section between Petone and Ngauranga, which we consulted on last year, is not included. Money for this fund is available to projects for which construction will be completed within the next three years. We still need to confirm a preferred option for the Petone to Ngauranga Section and then have it consented before construction could begin. As a result, the construction of the Petone to Ngauranga section is unlikely to be completed within the next three years. We will be working hard to get a preferred option for this section confirmed, consented and ready for construction as soon as possible. We expect to seek funding through the National Land Transport Fund and contributions from the three partner councils involved in the proposals: Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council and Hutt City Council.

  • Next steps

    The next step for the project will be to refine our proposals for the Melling to Petone and Ngauranga to Bunny Street sections, which we have been considering as part of our wider project to improve links between the Hutt Valley and Wellington CBD. We also expect to select a preferred option for the Petone to Ngauranga section and announce this before the end of the year.

    View the Wellington to Hutt Valley Cycleway/Walkway overview map [PDF, 5.4 MB]

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Key objectives

The objectives for the project are to:

  • improve walking and cycling safety between Lower Hutt and Wellington, particularly between Petone and Ngauranga

  • provide a facility that generates more use of the Lower Hutt to Wellington corridor by walkers and cyclists regardless of ability

  • separate walking and cycling activities from highway traffic between Petone and Ngauranga

  • improve network resilience by providing a walking and cycling facility with better safety standards and capacity

  • manage the impacts of the project to its area and communities and choose suitable alignments, designs and conditions that avoid, remedy or mitigate effects as much as is practicable.

A partnership collaboration

The Transport Agency is working in partnership with Wellington City and Hutt City Councils on this project, to ensure that the cycleway effectively and efficiently connects with other cycling facilities at either end of the proposed highway facility.

We are keeping an open mind about the best solution to bridge the gap and will be asking for, and listening to, the views of cyclists as part of our investigations before we make any decisions.

For a solution to be successful, it has to encourage and support more people to cycle safely between work, home, school and the city, and it has to be cost effective. It is too early to indicate what potential measures might be identified and who may implement them. However, the Transport Agency is working closely with transport and infrastructure operators such as Greater Wellington Regional Council and KiwiRail, in case there are opportunities to make improvements that benefit the highway, pedestrians and cyclists and the rail corridor combined.

Regardless, the cycleway is part of a big package of projects proposed to improve travel for all forms of transport, and bolster safety and economic productivity throughout the Wellington region.

The cycleway investigation work is expected to be completed in mid-to-late 2014 with further design work required after a preferred solution is identified. The project will then be subject to approvals and funding applications before anything can be constructed.

The project is ranked number 5 in the Regional Land Transport Plan and referenced as the Wellington to Hutt Valley Cycleway/Walkway/Resilience project.

Building on previous work

A number of studies and reports have been prepared since 2006 with the primary aim of closing the gap that exists on the current cycleway. These include reports prepared on behalf of the Transport Agency and other associated documents by Hutt City and Wellington City Councils, such as feasibility, scoping and scheme assessment reports, corridor plans and cycling strategies. You view these reports on the publications page.

Project Contacts

Wellington to Hutt Valley Walking and Cycling Link – w2hvlink@nzta.govt.nz
More contact info
  • Phone: 0508 9248 5465
  • The Wellington to Hutt Valley Walking and Cycling Link Team
    PO Box 5084
    Thorndon
    Wellington 6145

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