Wellington Scoop

Cycleway at risk?

by Patrick Morgan
The truce between Wellington city councillors is over. Despite voting 15-0 in favour of a bigger cycling budget, nine councillors are seeking to reverse decisions made by the Transport and Urban Development committee. Progress on safer cycling is at risk.

The “demand” by the nine councillors was announced this morning by Nicola Young and Paul Eagle.

Last month the Transport and Urban Development committee gave the green light to detailed design work on the first stage of a cycleway from Island Bay to the city. A citizens’ panel has been set up to recommend options for the next section, through Berhampore and Newtown.

Most agree that Council could have done a better job when consulting on options for Island Bay, but the latest move may delay construction.

Cycling has grown by 73 percent since the 2006 Census despite little investment, and Wellington has the worst crash record in New Zealand. The Council’s cycling policy aims to make cycling safer and to grow the number of people cycling.

Here’s questions I would like answers to.

The last Council was criticised for doing nothing. Will the current Council be any different?

Will voters punish those delaying progress on safer cycling?

Is this really about qualms over a cycleway, or are some councillors seeking to raise their profiles and score points?

Island Bay to City Cycleway Fact Sheet

Patrick Morgan is a member of the Cycling Advocates’ Network