Cycleway controversy: 9 councillors want to change decision-making process

Media release from Councillors Eagle and Young
Nine Wellington City Councillors have joined forces to demand the full Council take decisions on the proposed Island Bay to CBD cycleway.

Lambton Ward councillor Nicola Young has lodged a Notice of Motion for the whole Council to take over the decisions of the Transport and Urban Development committee.

Southern Ward Councillor Paul Eagle has seconded the motion, which has the support of seven other councillors. The Notice will be moved at the Council meeting on August 27 .

Cr Young says the Council plans to spend $43 million over 10 years on cycle ways, starting with Island Bay’s ‘Shorland Park to Wakefield Park’ section. “Such significant decisions should be taken by the full Council,” she said.

Cr Eagle said the consultation process around Section One had divided the Island Bay community. “Section Two through Berhampore and Newtown will be even more controversial,” he said. About 1,000 people have signed a ‘Halt and Consult’ petition, asking for work to be delayed until a master plan has been developed.

Cr Young says a master plan was needed to avoid the Island Bay section becoming the ‘cycleway to nowhere’.

“It is irresponsible to commence work without a plan for the whole route. Wellington needs cycle ways, and safer cycling conditions, but there’s a real danger this controversy and its associated fiscal risk will put cycling back 10 years or more. Wellington prides itself on being a smart city; but there’s nothing smart about taking immeasurable fiscal risks.”

Section Two could cost $500,000 to several million. A local design consultancy has estimated the cost of replacing car parks in Section 2 could be up to $6 million.

“There’s huge concern about lack of consultation, undue haste to get the project started, lack of a master plan for the whole route through to the CBD, and fiscal risk to ratepayers. Now local Members of Parliament are getting involved”, Cr Eagle said.

 

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