Roads not light rail looks set to dominate short-term agenda

 

Troops in mud – not unlike a visit to the Buckle Street war memorial on a rainy day.

The Wellingtonian reports that Wellington central MP Grant Roberston has been questioning the Government on the future of the national war memorial park on Buckle Street.  The plan was to trench the bypass and landscape the surrounding area into a park fit for heros.

So what has the Government done since it was elected in 2008 and committed to the project? Short answer – Nothing. Of course they have funded plenty of trips to Turkey for themselves.

“In May this year Prime Minister John Key was reported as supporting the lowering of the Buckle St section of the inner city bypass underground to make way for a memorial park.

At that time, Wellington City Council infrastructure manager Stavros Michael said the proposal to trench part of Buckle St had won the support of key ministers and the prime minister. He said it would be incorporated into the technical design of road works around the Basin Reserve.

Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson asked Mr Finlayson whether any interim landscaping of the National War Memorial Park site been commenced, and if not, why not?

Mr Finlayson’s reply was: “No”.”

Roberston wants the works brought forward.  However, the Minister’s office has indicated that some landscaping work may take place.

“A spokesman for Mr Finlayson said the first stage of the memorial park would be landscaping, which would be co-ordinated with the rest of the project, but he did not specify a timetable.”

Recent changes at the council following the 2010 elections could stop this work dead in the water.

“A flyover to separate airport-city traffic from Kent and Cambridge Tces’ Newtown traffic, more lanes on Ruahine St, and new tunnels at Mt Victoria and The Terrace had the support of former Mayor Kerry Prendergast and the outgoing council.”

The flyover is history and the Terrace and Mt Vic tunnels may be buried for now, but should a park dedicated to our warrior war heros being caught up in idealogical battles about roads or tracks?

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