One path, three boards, and one bill

Auckland City Harbour News - - COMMUNITY COOKBOOK - ALAS­TAIR LYNN

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.

FAIR­FAX NZ.

Des­ley Simp­son and Si­mon Bridges at the sod turn­ing cer­e­mony for the Glen Innes to Ta­maki cy­cle­way.

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