Govern­ment could fund Sky­Path

Central Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - HAN­NAH MARTIN

A walk­ing and cy­cling route over Auck­land’s Har­bour Bridge could be toll-free for Auck­lan­ders.

Sky­Path project di­rec­tor Bevan Wood­ward said on Fri­day the $34 mil­lion route could be de­liv­ered at no cost to Auck­land ratepay­ers through Govern­ment fund­ing.

The de­vel­op­ment comes af­ter a se­ries of set­backs since the project got re­source con­sent in Novem­ber, in­clud­ing ma­jor part­ner Downer Group with­draw­ing from the pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship (PPP) ear­lier this year. Downer left the PPP with Auck­land Coun­cil and the Sky­Path Trust.

The Sky­Path Trust an­nounced this week it was also with­draw­ing from the PPP agree­ment.

Wood­ward said he had met with Trans­port Min­is­ter Simon Bridges in March, who was ‘‘very much af­firm­ing the Govern­ment’s will­ing­ness to fund the project’’.

While Bridges wanted to see if the PPP could still be made to work, Wood­ward said he was ‘‘re­as­sured’’ when the Min­is­ter ad­vised he could fund Sky­Path in the next tranche of the Govern­ment’s Ur­ban Cy­cle­way Pro­gramme fund­ing.

‘‘He was very sup­port­ive, he said he saw it as a miss­ing link.’’

How­ever, a spokesman for Bridges said the Govern­ment had not yet agreed to fully fund the project. It could be con­sid­ered for fund­ing as part of a fu­ture Ur­ban Cy­cle­way Pro­gramme, he said.

SUPPLIED

The Sky­Path cy­cle and walk­way could be funded through a Govern­ment ur­ban cy­cle­way scheme.

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