Generation Zero: Auckland Transport ‘Dragging its Heels’
Youth organisation, Generation Zero, has revealed that on current projections Auckland Transport won’t complete the Auckland Regional Cycle Network until 2055, missing their target by nearly 30 years.
Generation Zero spokesperson Dr Sudhvir Singh, explains “Cycling is a crucial part of Auckland’s ambition to become the world’s most liveable city, but at the current annual build rate of Auckland’s cycleways I will be well into my 60’s.”
The proposed Auckland Regional Cycle Network is 900 km. So far Auckland Transport has built 270 km or 30% of the network. In 2012/13 Auckland Transport delivered 7.4 km of new cycle lanes. In 2013/14 the plan is to implement 15.4 km of new cycleways. It will therefore take until about 2025 using the 2013 / 14 rate to get to 50%. The planned completion of 50% of the cycle network is 2016 therefore missing it’s target by 10 years.
Extrapolating the annual build rate out of current trends, to finish 100% of the network it will take Auckland Transport 41 years. Dr Singh explains that “Auckland Transport was set up as a Council-Controlled Organisation (CCO) to ensure we would see results. Instead, they have been dragging their heels when it comes to building new cycling infrastructure in Auckland.”
The group is calling for Auckland Transport to increase the build rate of the Auckland Cycle Network over the next 3 years to insure it meets it’s own target of 50% by 2016. Dr Singh; “Auckland Transport have set a number of targets but has so far under delivered. They need to start building the crucial projects in the Auckland Regional Cycling Network rather than just talking about them.”
In the long term, the group is also calling for a greater proportion of transport investment to go towards separated cycleways. Dr Singh explains that; “We would like to see Auckland Council invest 5% of the transport budget in cycling. This would be a significant increase from the current budget which is less than 1% in the Long Term Plan up for renewal at the end of the year.”
The group has launched a petition calling on the CEO of Auckland Transport, David Warburton, to ensure that half of the Auckland Regional Cycle Network is complete by 2016. The group will deliver the petition to Mr Warburton at their presentation to the Auckland Transport Board in February.