Council Basin flyover report 'unconvincing'

Architect Richard Reid has hit back at the Wellington City Council after it rubbished his alternative proposal to the Basin Reserve flyover.

Mr Reid's plan, known as Option RR, was one of three proposals the council investigated as an alterative solution to traffic congestion around the Basin Reserve cricket ground.

The council's findings last week concurred with a view held by the New Zealand Transport Agency since August - that a $90 million flyover, 20 metres north of the Basin, was the best idea.

Mr Reid said the same benefit could be gained from turning Buckle St into a tunnel - which is already happening - in conjunction with a second Mt Victoria tunnel and improvements to the existing roads around the Basin.

The council report said the flyover had the "best fit against a range of strategic and policy outcomes" while Option RR would produce very similar outcomes to the status quo.

About $40,000 was spent on the council investigation. Some of that went to Mr Reid, though neither he nor the council has said how much.

Mr Reid was not commenting on the council's findings last week, but yesterday he issued a statement saying that the council had failed to consider his Basin proposal against other major roading improvements planned for the area.

"We asked [the] council in April 2012 and January 2013, what percentage of the journey time savings will be contributed by four-laning Wellington Rd and Ruahine St, duplicating the Mt Victoria Tunnel, removing the lane problems at the Basin Reserve roundabout and undergrounding Buckle St to avoid the Tory St traffic lights," he said.

"This fundamental question has not been answered. . . We believe the answer is a high percentage of NZTA's five minutes of travel time savings.

"We believe the major congestion problems are created before and after the roundabout, not by the roundabout itself."

The council's report was "unconvincing and extremely light in its explanation of the existing traffic problems at the roundabout".

Contact Michael Forbes
Transport and metro reporter
Twitter: @michael_forbes

The Dominion Post