Still no progress on a transport strategy for kunanyi / Mt Wellington

As tourist numbers rebound following the Covid slowdown, increasing numbers of visitors have been stuck in gridlock on the Pinnacle Road at peak periods during the Christmas – New Year period. This is not the experience they were seeking and is a more immediate problem than the need for more/better toilets and other facilities. It has, of course, generated renewed calls for a cable car, as if this would fix everything.

Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds has diplomatically stated that “conversations … need to be had about new transport solutions for the mountain” while explaining that these “had stalled because of the proposed cable car” (Mercury 4 January 2024).

We could easily have had a traffic management system for Pinnacle Road and an improved shuttle bus service operational by now if some elected members of Hobart City Council had not blocked the 2020 proposal to investigate a carpark/shuttle bus terminal at Halls Saddle (near Fern Tree) by insisting that it should be funded by the state government, not council.

Meanwhile the Wellington Park Management Trust (which is dominated by state government appointees) is in no hurry to address the Mountain’s most pressing management issue. Its March 2023 Wellington Park Visitor and Recreation Strategy calls for a “review of the Sustainable Transport System” (essentially the current shuttle bus service) within two years and for a “feasibility study into alternative transport arrangements for Pinnacle Road” within five years.

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