Cy­cle lanes

Auckland City Harbour News - - OPINION -

Paul Gille­spie (Opin­ion, March 18) ques­tions the con­struc­tion of cy­cle lanes for ‘‘cy­clists who haven’t con­trib­uted any­thing to the cost’’.

In­fra­struc­ture like cy­cle lanes is paid for pri­mar­ily out of coun­cil rates, which peo­ple who ride bikes pay just the same as any­one else.

Please, let’s lay to rest this myth that cy­clists are some­how get­ting a free ride.

In fact, a large pro­por­tion of our trans­port rates bill goes to­wards re­pair­ing wear and tear on roads, caused al­most en­tirely by mo­tor ve­hi­cles – but peo­ple on bikes pay the same trans­port rates as ev­ery­one else. If any­thing, they are pay­ing more than their fair share.

Look­ing at the big­ger pic­ture and tak­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal and other costs into ac­count, the Min­istry of Trans­port’s 2005 Sur­face Trans­port Costs and Charges study con­cluded that it’s cars and trucks that are get­ting a free ride, not pay­ing any­thing like the true costs they im­pose.

That is partly why for­ward-look­ing cities around the world are in­vest­ing in cy­cle in­fra­struc­ture, and Auck­land is start­ing to do the same. for all coach ser­vices. This makes travel com­pli­cated and un­pleas­ant for tourists and do­mes­tic trav­el­ers alike.

With the pro­posed re­de­vel­op­ment at Sky City with the con­ven­tion cen­tre project, and the Down­town shop­ping cen­tre and Brit­o­mart sta­tion with the city rail link tun­nel project, ex­ist­ing coach stops are likely to be lost and will cer­tainly not be wel­com­ing places with con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity.

A so­lu­tion would be for a new com­bined long dis­tance coach and train ter­mi­nal to be built at the Strand sta­tion. This cen­tral city site would be ideal with easy ac­cess from the Strand and would elim­i­nate the cum­ber­some re­vers­ing move­ments re­quired for long dis­tance trains to en­ter Brit­o­mart sta­tion.

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