Why Hutt Road rather than a coastal route

Hutt Road has been selected as the most viable route to provide a northern connection in Wellington’s wider cycling network.

It will be part of the Wellington to Hutt Valley cycling and walking link, connecting with the central city via Thorndon Quay, and eventually through to Melling in Lower Hutt.

Long-term, it is possible a coastal route may also be developed in this area as part of the Great Harbour Way, but there are some major challenges that would need to be addressed first.

Coastal route challenges

We would need major and costly new infrastructure – overbridges or under-passes – so that people coming from the northern and western suburbs, including Johnsonville, Newlands, Khandallah and Ngaio, could get across the railway lines and motorway to the coast.

Without that, the coastal route would only work for commuters going between the Hutt Valley and central Wellington, and recreational users.

Even if a coastal route is developed one day, many people will likely opt to take the faster, more direct route along Hutt Road.

There are other challenges too: 

  • Health, safety and logistical issues at the inter-island ferry terminal and vehicle and rail loading areas. There are serious concerns about providing a cycle route through operational port areas. 
  • A mix of landowners, including Centre Port and KiwiRail, would all need to have suitable surplus land in this location, and be willing to sell or provide long-term access for this purpose. This has not been the case to date. 
  • A reclamation would be required along the coastline because there isn’t enough land on the seaward side of the railway line to build a path for people on foot and bikes. This would be expensive and require consents.
  • A harbour route would be very exposed to wind and weather. Hutt Road is less exposed so is more likely to be used in bad weather.

You may also be interested in finding out more about why we are focussing on improving Thorndon Quay at this stage, rather than Aotea Quay.



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