Phil Twyford says AT budget released accidentally

Empty green cycle track with bike lane sign
Photo credit: Getty

The Minister of Transport says Auckland Transport's draft budget was "mistakenly made public".

Auckland Transport released the draft budget on Thursday morning, showing a dramatic drop in funding from $65m in 2018/19 to only $6.5m in 2019/20.

Rail operations were also cut in the plan, losing around $10m from the $130m allocated in 2018/19.

But Phil Twyford said in a tweet on Thursday evening that the document should not have been released to the public.

Mr Twyford said he had received a "sincere apology" from AT chair Lester Levy over the release of the internal document.

He said the draft budget did not accurately reflect the discussions he had with AT and local government, nor did it reflect a commitment to giving Auckland a "modern transport system".

Cycling advocates such as Greater Auckland and Bike Auckland voiced their confusion over the budget cut, which they said showed an anti-cycling attitude.

After the draft budget was made public, AT was forced to release a statement justifying the funding cut as well as clarifying that no final decisions had been made.

Newshub.