Generation Zero welcomes “overdue” boost to cycleway funding
Nationwide youth organisation Generation Zero has welcomed Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee’s announcement of an additional $100 million over four years for urban cycleways, and says local councils should “get building” now that it appears any future government will boost cycleway funding.
Generation Zero spokesperson Dr Sudhvir Singh said: “We applaud the Minister for this much needed funding boost to finally start bringing New Zealand’s cycling infrastructure up to world standards, although we want to see a larger increase to at least triple the current cycling budget.”
Last month Generation Zero joined with local cycling advocacy groups from around the country for the “On Yer Bike” campaign, which helped over 3500 people make a submission on the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding calling for a tripling of the national cycling budget.
The additional funding announced averaging $25 million per year amounts to an approximate doubling of current funding through the National Land Transport Fund. The Green Party’s recently announced transport policy would see this increase to at least $100 million per year.
“We look forward to transport policy announcements from Labour and other parties, but it now appears whoever wins the election we will see a significant boost to cycleway funding. That means it’s time for local councils to get building and implementing cycleway network plans,” said Dr Singh.
“Some councils such as Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch have already majorly boosted council funding for cycleways so it’s time to get building as a top priority.”
“Auckland Council needs to follow suit by at least tripling its current cycling budget in order to meet its target of completing the Auckland Regional Cycleway Network by 2025.”
“We are pleased to see the National Party acknowledging the need to build safe cycleway networks to give ordinary Kiwis the choice of a safe bike commute, and the immense benefits this will bring for New Zealanders.”
“More people riding means less carbon pollution, less congestion, less money leaving the New Zealand economy to pay for oil, and fewer people suffering from avoidable health problems due to inactivity.”