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Restricting freight another own-goal for Wellington

Restricting freight another own-goal for Wellington

Road Transport Forum News

 October 2020    RTF News

In another own-goal for our capital city, the Let’s Get Wellington Moving consortium (LGWM) has proposed a plan to heavily restrict trucks and delivery vehicles from the so-called Golden Mile inner city retail district.

The Golden Mile is the area formed by Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Manners Street and Courtenay Place, and is the very heart of what makes Wellington a vibrant city. 

“Unfortunately, as with many initiatives that seek to improve the amenity value of the city, Let’s Get Wellington Moving is proposing a restriction on delivery vehicles that will have a negative impact on commercial activity in the central city,” says RTF’s Nick Leggett.

“Forcing delivery vehicles to operate only during certain hours and from certain locations will have significant cost impacts on both transporters and central city business owners.”

For retailers and hospitality operators already dealing with the city’s transport problems, the impacts of COVID-19 and high leases, the consequences of this proposal could force many to move out of the central city altogether, Leggett warns. 

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In another own-goal for our capital city, the Let’s Get Wellington Moving consortium (LGWM) has proposed a plan to heavily restrict trucks and delivery vehicles from the so-called Golden Mile inner city retail district.
The Golden Mile is the area formed by Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Manners Street and Courtenay Place, and is the very heart of what makes Wellington a vibrant city. 
“Unfortunately, as with many initiatives that seek to improve the amenity value of the city, Let’s Get Wellington Moving is proposing a restriction on delivery vehicles that will have a negative impact on commercial activity in the central city,” says RTF’s Nick Leggett.
“Forcing delivery vehicles to operate only during certain hours and from certain locations will have significant cost impacts on both transporters and central city business owners.”
For retailers and hospitality operators already dealing with the city’s transport problems, the impacts of COVID-19 and high leases, the consequences of this proposal could force many to move out of the central city altogether, Leggett warns. 
“It’s easy for Wellington’s great and good to want to cast such unsightly inconveniences as freight delivery to times and places where they can’t be seen, but such activities are a core aspect of the economy of the inner city and should be facilitated to assist with the ongoing commercial development of the city. 
“Wellington has some serious problems when it comes to transport,” Leggett adds: “The anti-road brigade that has so successfully infiltrated the politics of the city has done everything in its power to resist the roading infrastructure necessary to free up traffic to the southern suburbs, airport and port.
“LGWM has not come up with solutions to these issues. It has failed in expanding State Highway 1 at both The Terrace and Mt Victoria tunnels, and the Basin Reserve roundabout remains a major problem. Unfortunately, rather than putting greater effort into sorting out these routes, LGWM has turned its muddled thinking on the city’s retail district instead.
“The concept of the Golden Mile initiative is fine in theory – enhance public spaces by promoting greater foot and cycling traffic – but it totally ignores the freight demands of the retailers, cafés and restaurants that make the city what it is.” 
By suggesting that freight delivery vehicles will have to be parked some distance away from the receiving site, drivers and delivery people will be expected to move goods lengthy distances along pavements….while being mindful not only of their own health and safety, but also of the pedestrians using the same space.
“That is impractical. The Golden Mile is narrow and the side streets LGWM has earmarked for delivery vehicles are totally unsuitable even for small trucks,” says Leggett. 
“Many of the premises on the Golden Mile also have front access only, which means that delivery vehicles will have to unload further away – increasing the security risk and potential for goods to get damaged in bad weather.
“It also speaks to the unrealistic nature of the proposal that small electric vans and pedal-powered delivery cargo cycles are being suggested as a substitute for vans, trucks and other freight delivery vehicles.
“Let’s Get Wellington Moving has long been an oxymoron and if it’s latest proposal gets off the ground you can be sure that the Golden Mile won’t be golden for much longer.”
RTF has submitted against LGWM’s proposal and is awaiting the outcome.   

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