One path, three boards, and one bill
Three local boards will reap the benefits of a major Auckland infrastructure project, but only one has been slapped with a bill.
The $40 million Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive cycleway will be the country’s largest cycleway project connecting the eastern suburbs to the CBD.
Auckland Council has asked the Orakei Local Board to contribute $2 million toward an accessway but board chair Desley Simpson says they were never included in the initial funding discussions.
‘‘It’s ridiculous to begin a project when there aren’t the funds to see it through.’’
‘‘It’s got seven entry points where people can access it . . .they didn’t budget for all of these points and we’re left to fund it.
‘‘It’s not a local project. It benefits ratepayers right across the city, funding shouldn’t come from the boards it should come from Auckland Transport.’’
The path is a joint project between the New Zealand Transport Authority and Auckland Transport under the nationwide Urban Cycleway Programme. Construction began in 2015 and is due to finish in 2018.
An Auckland Transport spokesperson says further options for connections will be investigated over the three years.
‘‘These links will further enhance what will be a huge asset for the people living in the eastern suburbs from Glen Innes to the city.’’
The 7.5 kilometre shared path will run entirely within the Ora- kei Local Board boundary, but residents in Waitemata and Maungakiekie-Tamaki will see the direct benefits.
Both the Waitemata and Maungakiekie-Tamaki boards are not required to contribute to development costs.
Waitemata Local Board deputy chair Pippa Coom says a council fund should be set up to cover costs of expanding greenways.
‘‘It’s an area in need of focus, 60 per cent of people say they would cycle to work if there were protected cycleways,’’ she says.
Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board chair Simon Randall says his community has also lobbied strongly for extensive networks.
‘‘To realise the full benefits of that we’re going to have to invest ourselves.’’
Simpson says the board will be left hamstrung for its next term if required to fund the accessway.
Desley Simpson and Simon Bridges at the sod turning ceremony for the Glen Innes to Tamaki cycleway.