Protestors hug in protest of Basin Reserve flyover

02:54, Sep 25 2011
Basin protest std
People brave the rain to protest the Basin Reserve flyover.

Dozens of people braved the freezing rain today to hold hands and protest against the proposed Basin Reserve flyover.

The 'hug of protection' stretched about 100m along the fenceline of the historic cricket ground for about 10 minutes following speeches from politicians and protest organisers.

Silvia Zuur, 27, left the sunny skies of Paekakariki to show her support against the flyover and  other proposed roading projects, including the Kapiti expressway.

"I don't think big motorways are the solution for the future."

The flyover is part of the Levin to Wellington Road of National Significance.

The New Zealand Transport Agency put forward two options for the flyover, the preferred $75m option, 20 metres to the north of the ground, and a $90m option, about 65 metres north.

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Protesters cheered when Wellington central MP Grant Robertson said a new plan, which has been dubbed Option X, was the best way forward.

The Architecture Centre's proposal, which could cost up to $165 million, involves building an underpass for Buckle St.

Green Party candidate for Wellington Central James Shaw said money should be spent on a new light rail system for the capital rather than roads.

''This will cost less than the entire experiment of a second tunnell through Mt Victoria.''

Save The Basin Reserve Campaign convenor Kent Duston described the flyover as a "dopey project".

He told the crowd of about 60 that holding hands could create change and described how Hutt Hospital was saved from the chopping block in the 1990s by people standing around the building in protest.

"This is very important to send the message to Steven Joyce and the rest of the Government that we want a different plan to the one they've proposed."

Mt Victoria resident Averil Taylor and her four-year-old son stood on Ellice St holding hands with strangers in the hope of stopping the flyover.

"I don't think it's going to be an effective solution to the problem. If anything it's going to be ugly."

The Dominion Post