Over the next 10 years Capital & Coast DHB will invest $3.3 million to improve access for people walking or cycling to Wellington Regional Hospital, including new end of trip facilities for staff – such as bike storage, lockers, showers and changing rooms – a carpooling app for staff, improvements to the Kenepuru Community Hospital shuttle, and personalised travel planning support.
“We know that staff, patients, and visitors currently face challenges around accessing our hospitals for work or to receive care,” said chief financial officer Mathew Parr.
“Among these challenges is transport – people who drive currently struggle to find onsite car parks, while some may not have access to a vehicle at all. Investing in improvements that provide safe and easy access to our hospital for our staff and communities is a vital part of being able to care for patients and help ensure the health and wellbeing of our region’s whānau and communities.”
The work to improve accessibility is part of the Wellington Regional Hospital Travel Action Plan – a $7.5 million collaboration between Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), Waka Kotahi, Wellington City Council (WCC), and CCDHB.
“The Travel Action Plan investment is a game changer for Wellington Regional Hospital. It will give staff more reliable – and lower carbon – travel options while reducing the pressure on parking for patients, visitors, and staff for whom other forms of transport are not suitable.
“We need to make sure our onsite parking is available for those who need it most – supporting staff to choose public or active transport, or to carpool, means we can do that while reducing our environmental impact.”
Following a 2020 survey revealing that 53 percent of CCDHB staff were prepared to consider other ways of getting to work in Newtown, GWRC worked closely with the DHB on a number of recommendations.
This included working with Metlink, which responded with a new dedicated Hospital Express as well as additional early morning services on routes 12 and 18.
“Since the launch of the new Hospital Express – which uses the waterfront quays and bypasses the congested Golden Mile – 2,608 customers have enjoyed faster journeys to the hospital,” said Metlink general manager Scott Gallacher.
Further public transport improvements of around $3.5 million will be made over the next 10 years to make it easier for staff and the public to access Wellington Regional Hospital
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster said Wellington Regional Hospital is a major employer and generator of travel.
“This travel action plan is an important step in improving the sustainability and efficiency of hospital staff travel, and in reducing impacts on the Newtown community,” he said.
“Our hospital is a key destination for Let’s Get Wellington Moving mass transit, and our city cycleway programme. I applaud the CCDHB Travel Action Plan as it will deliver immense benefits to hospital staff, but also is an example of what can be done to support our vision of a walkable carbon zero city.”
To support the Travel Action Plan, the DHB has approved a new parking pricing strategy and a needs-based parking policy. These will ensure access to parking is allocated to those who need it most, including patients and visitors.
The DHB is also looking at how to increase the number of car parks at Wellington Regional Hospital. Feasibility for a multi-storey car park is underway, with options expected early next year.
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More information on the Travel Action Plan:
See the Travel Action Plan document.