Transport advocates angered by Auckland Transport's proposed cycle funding cut

A cycleway.
A cycleway. Photo credit: Getty

Transport advocates are outraged by a draft budget from Auckland Transport suggesting a massive cut to capital expenditure on cycling.

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

Council-controlled AT says no final decisions have been made and the number reflects the end of several large cycleway projects.

"The $65 million figure for the 2018/19 reflects the completion of a major investment in cycling in the previous plan," a spokesperson told Newshub.

"This was co-funded by the Government through the Urban Cycleway Fund.

"Beyond 2018/19, the $6.5 million per annum reflects a base level in the absence of any further cycling initiatives."

Te Ara I Whiti or Lightpath is one of the most recognisable cycle way projects in Auckland.
Te Ara I Whiti or Lightpath is one of the most recognisable cycle way projects in Auckland. Photo credit: Getty

However advocates say the funding cut ignores a new 10-year cycling strategy and the draft plan shows an attitude against cycling.

Auckland director of environmental advocacy group Generation Zero Leroy Beckett told Newshub it's nonsensical to cut the funding by so much.

"I was just quite shocked that the cycle funding falls off the cliff that much. This is AT's proposal for what should be in the council plan for the next 10 years and it makes no sense," he said.

"We've put so much effort into cycling and had such huge rewards - why would we not continue that?"

North Shore ward councillor Richard Hills expressed disappointment in the plan, saying it went against the wishes of Mayor Phil Goff, the council, and the government.

AT will meet next week to discuss the draft budget and Mr Beckett hopes they will reconsider their spending.

"If we're encouraging people to get out of their car and onto their bike, we need to provide safe infrastructure and this budget is not able to do that," he said.

Newshub.