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Scenario D

Improvements in Scenario A, B and C plus: Better access from the north, and less waterfront traffic

Building an extra Terrace Tunnel would improve access to and from the north and reduce traffic on the waterfront quays and through the central city, making it easier to get to and from the waterfront.

Cost: $1.9b - $2.3b*

Time to build: 10+ years*

*Includes enhanced bus mass transit. Light rail would add $350m - $500m, and increase the time to construct by about 18 months



More Information


Prioritising public transport, walking and cycling in the central city.

Proposed changes:

  • A second Terrace Tunnel
  • Fourth lane southbound on State Highway 1 from Ngauranga to Aotea Quay
  • Public transport lanes along Hutt Road
  • Reduce vehicles on the waterfront Quays
  • Improve walking priority across the waterfront Quays
  • Better cycling connections along and across the waterfront Quays
  • A safer and more reliable route for through-traffic between Ngauranga to Kilbirnie, and also for freight and tourists travelling to the port from the north.
What about Mass Transit?

What about Mass Transit?

As in Scenarios B and C, this scenario also provides for the phased introduction of mass transit – starting with the extension of dedicated bus lanes and priority from the Golden Mile through the Basin Reserve to Newtown and through a new Mt Victoria tunnel to Kilbirnie and the Airport, with the introduction of a new mass transit fleet (either bus rapid transit or light rail) within a 10+ year timeframe.

Light rail would add $350 – $500m, and 18 months to construction.

What about the Basin?

What about the Basin?

The Basin road layout would be as for Scenario C: north/south traffic would be separated from east/west traffic using bridges and/or tunnels, and connected to a realigned State Highway 1. The maps show options for how this might be achieved.

SH1 travelling in both directions goes around the city side of the Basin Reserve. Traffic travelling to the airport goes under Sussex St and over Dufferin St. Traffic travelling to the motorway goes over Dufferin St, and then under Sussex St.

The Principles

The Principles

How this scenario rates against LGWM principles:

Accessible, healthy and safe

Less traffic and lower traffic speeds in the core CBD; easier and safer to walk and cycle, including from the south and east and through Te Aro; traffic is attracted to SH1 route allowing enhanced access to the Waterfront.

Better public transport

Significantly quicker and more reliable journeys by public transport via mass transit to the south / east; and through Te Aro.

A significant increase in people travelling by public transport, but some offset from improved car journeys.

Clean and green

Air quality benefits along the Golden Mile/central area due to reduced traffic.

No significant change to greenhouse gas emission at a regional level.

Compact city

Improved walkability; enhanced access to waterfront; more space for people throughout the central city.

Unlocks urban regeneration in Te Aro and enables more people to live closer to, and support, a vibrant city centre.

Demand and supply

Ways to manage travel demand will be considered under all scenarios.

Future-proof and resilient

A much more resilient network with additional capacity through Terrace Tunnel and safer alignment for SH1 along Karo Dr.

Reduced capacity along the Quays but additional capacity on motorway and improved access to Port.

Past, present, future

Likely to require some demolition of, relocation of, or impact on heritage items (buildings, trees, areas).

Opportunities to enhance the built environment via less traffic in city centre and urban revitalisation in Te Aro.

Predictable travel times

Less traffic congestion due to significantly more people taking public transport, improved flows through Basin and Mt Vic/Ruahine St, and reduced conflicts for all modes through Te Aro.

Set in nature

More green space, trees and public open space in the central city and enhanced access to the waterfront; but impact on town belt along Ruahine St, and potential visual amenity/severance impacts through Basin and Te Aro.


Improved access to hospital, airport, and the Port.

Urban renewal in Te Aro provides for many more people to live, work, shop and play.

Major corridors move many more people.

Travel choice

Unlocks mass transit; improved transport options for all through the Ngauranga to Airport corridor - but reduced access for private vehicles in CBD.

Wider View

Improving the city as a place for people and valuing the wider benefits of integrating transport and urban form, is important under all scenarios.


Each scenario has been measured against the following criteria. Click below to see what the impact of this scenario could be.

  • Better urban form & amenity

    Scenario C benefit plus: Improved public spaces and better waterfront access along and across the Quays 

  • Less traffic in the city centre

    Morning peak: 750 to 1000 (3-4%) fewer vehicles in the city centre

  • Easier to walk in the city centre

    Scenario C benefits plus: People walking wait less time to access the waterfront from the city centre (up to 50% reduction across Quays)

  • Safer & easier to cycle in the city

    Scenario C benefits plus: Better cycling experience along the Quays and to the waterfront

  • More people take public transport

    Morning peak: 600 to 900 (10-14%) more passengers from the south and east

  • Quicker, more reliable public transport journeys

    12 - 16 minutes (25-35%) quicker for morning peak journeys between Island Bay/Miramar and Wellington station

  • More reliable travel times by car, truck, van

    10 - 20% quicker/more reliable on SH1 from Airport to Johnsonville, 20 - 30% quicker/more reliable on SH1 from Johnsonville to Airport

  • More resilient transport network

    Large improvement in transport network delays and disruptions

  • A safer transport network

    In the city, to the east, Te Aro and the waterfront Safer transport infrastructure separating people from traffic

  • On-street parking

    Wider impact: Spaces affected on Golden Mile, Vivian St, and on main routes south, east and north

  • Built environment and heritage

    Mixed impact: On heritage items due to work at Basin/Mt Vic, Ruahine St, Karo Dr, and Terrace tunnel; but offset by amenity gains in Te Aro

  • Emissions

    Minor Impact: Fewer emissions from less inner-city traffic; increased traffic on SH1 but less congested