Yesterday I highlighted the investment in the rail network that is planned in the draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). Today I’m looking at the Cycling budgets. They start off by talking about the growing demand for cycling, especially where new facilities are provided. They also explain the proposed Auckland Cycle Network – which I think is largely a piece of junk due to its numerous holes and comprises.
Cycling in Auckland is on the increase (19), not just as an increasingly popular leisure activity, but for a variety of transport-related trips. Surveys indicate a sizeable latent demand for safe cycling facilities. The number of people cycling is growing fastest where new facilities are provided as part of the Regional Cycle Network, proving that the “build it and they will come” approach is working.
To keep up with this trend and to spur further growth in cycling, Auckland Transport plans to accelerate the construction of the Auckland Cycle Network. The Auckland Cycle Network comprises more than 1,000km of connected on and off road cycle facilities that provide a safe environment to accommodate likely latent demand and encourage more growth in cycling. The network is shown in Figure 23 and has three levels:
- Cycle metros are separate facilities on main routes, for example the North Western Cycleway
- Cycle connectors may be on-road cycle lanes, or off-road shared paths, designed to provide safe and direct routes for cyclists
- Cycle feeders link schools, parks and community destinations to each other and to the network.
However it’s the next paragraph that explains the situation we’re in.
The target set in the Auckland Plan is to complete 70% of the Auckland Cycle Network (Metros and Connectors) by 2022. This RLTP contains a programme of dedicated cycle projects and of cycling links delivered through road construction and road maintenance projects. The proposed investment package will not complete 70% of the Auckland Cycle network until after 2040.
So the council want 70% of the network completed by 2022 yet that figure won’t even be achieved by 2040 at current investment levels. The map below shows what parts of the network that are meant to be completed within the next decade under the basic transport package which is what we’ll get unless the alternative funding issue is resolved. You may notice that many of these are beside motorways where the NZTA is paying for them.
This position is further highlighted in the financial table which shows that other than the Waterview cycleway there is no money planned to be spent on cycling till after 2018 unless a local board uses their share of ~$10 million Local Board Initiatives budget on it.
Things do look a bit rosier – but not by much – with the NZTA
At this rate it looks like we’re once again set for some stormy weather over cycling. The only bright spot on the horizon is the Urban Cycleways Funds however even then that will require funding from council
The recently announced Urban Cycleways Funds will inject $100 million of funds nationally to deliver cycleways over the current financial year and the first three years of the RLTP 2015-25. The funding proportion for this fund is one-third local Council share investment, one-third NZTA funding, and one-third Urban Cycleways fund. The proposed budget does not include any new cycling projects in the first three years, which will mean that Auckland Transport does not receive a share of the $100 million national Urban Cycleways fund after 1 July 2015, unless it is for projects funded by local boards from the Local Board Initiatives fund.