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Unexpected Halt: Manurewa Local Board Scraps Cycle Lane Upgrades — “A Real Blow To The Community”

Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa - April 26, 2024 - All Aboard is sounding the alarm as a fully funded improvement project in Manurewa is being scrapped this month, due to a sudden opposition from the Local Board.

The All Aboard Transport Decarbonisation Trust (All Aboard) advocates for changes to our streets that build connected, healthy communities. Building a transport system that supports active and public modes of transport, including biking and scootering, is one of the most effective ways we can reduce carbon emissions in Aotearoa. To do this, we need to build infrastructure that allows people, including children, to travel safely on their bikes – which is exactly what the Manurewa project aimed to achieve.

The project would be a “quick-win” for safety that makes better use of the existing road corridor. It involves installing rubber separators on existing cycle lanes on Weymouth Road. The project was funded by AT and NZTA/Waka Kotahi, with no cost to the local board.

Their opposition means the bulk of the project has been scrapped, making it harder and more unsafe for community members in Manurewa to travel on their bikes.

In …., the Local Board states it does not believe that sufficient evidence has been provided that installing the proposed on-road separators will result in a significant increase in usage.

These safer cycle lanes are in a catchment with over 20 schools and early childhood centres.

We’re flabbergasted that the Local Board chose to turn down committed funding for a project that provides safer passage for school kids and families, freeing up time and money for local community members. Auckland Transport had engaged extensively with the Local Board, making modifications based on that feedback. This is a real blow to the community.” says All Aboard TDT Chair Dr Paul Winton.

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Worryingly, the Local Board supports upgrading intersections based on figures that show where deaths and serious injuries occur.

Local Boards should not need to be presented with Death and Serious Injury statistics to do what is best for the community. Physical separation and protection provides safety, and safety enables people to ride," said Magalie Ménard, All Aboard TDT’s Executive Director.

Ménard believed the project, including upgrading the area’s longest shared cycle path on Weymouth Road, would help boost and share the “joy of cycling”, ultimately providing children with a sense of liberty and independence going to and from school, and parents or guardians with a sense of confidence and security in their neighbourhood’s transport system.

The Local Board’s withdrawal of support means the project is lost for this financial year. All Aboard remains optimistic that Manurewa’s Local Board will, before the start of the next financial year, put safety first and use their capacity to find solutions that promote safe, accessible, affordable and eco-friendly transport options for all.

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