Newshub-Reid Research Poll shows how unpopular plan for $785 million Auckland cycle bridge is with voters

Newshub understands plans to build a separate cycle bridge over Auckland harbour are looking increasingly wobbly. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Transport Minister Michael Wood are backpedaling on the $785 million project, following immense public backlash. 

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll proves how unpopular it is, and when Newshub put questions to the Government about it, it seems the sentiment is shared by some ministers too.

"We've announced our policies in transport, that's what we intend to proceed with at this stage," Wood told Newshub on Tuesday. "That's what we intend to proceed with at this stage."

"At this stage" - three words in politics that basically mean 'nah'.

Robertson, when asked if there is any chance the Government will renege on the project, said: "I think we continually look at the network and the programme to make sure that it works well."

The Government hasn't been able to avoid the vitriolic criticism of the planned bridge, particularly in Ashburton, where their old bridge was taken out by the floods. 

"A waste of money, I think," a local told Newshub. 

Others described the funding for the Auckland cycle bridge as "careless" and, "There are better things they can be using their money with."

Aucklanders shared similar views. 

"Dumb, dumb decision," one Aucklander told Newshub, while others described it as "crazy" and "ridiculous". 

And almost the entire country agrees. 

The latest Newshub-Reid Research Poll asked: Do you think the Government should spend $785 million on a cycle bridge? 

A resounding 81.7 percent said no, while just 11.9 percent said yes. That goes for Labour voters too - 75.5 percent are opposed. 

And it's not just Labour voters - even Labour ministers think it's daft.

"It's a lot of money," said Peeni Henare. 

"We had a set of priorities at that time, what are the priorities now, things do change," said Andrew Little. 

"In any Government decision-making process there will be people who agree with something and not with others things," said Chris Hipkins. 

Cyclists protesting to have bridge lanes from the city to the North Shore need not fret - they will get something. It's just the separate bridge looking shaky.

"The cycle bridge in Auckland is a complete farce," said National leader Judith Collins. "The Government's priorities are all up the wazoo."

And on this at least, it seems the Government knows it too.  

The Government is starting to talk up expediting the second harbour crossing, which would probably be a tunnel, and hoping that could free up space on the actual Harbour Bridge for cycle lanes.

It's a massive political risk bailing on the bike bridge - making it yet another failed infrastructure project - think KiwiBuild and light rail.

But Labour's nearly 10-point drop in the Newshub poll has given them a fright. They're trying to show they're listening, and flexing to public pressure when you're wrong is sometimes worth the fallout from a flip-flop.

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