Taxpayers' Union calls on Govt to can cycle bridge over Auckland harbour

The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union is calling for the Government to halt funding for its new cycling and walking harbour bridge.

Hundreds of cyclists cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning as part of a rally to add a dedicated cycleway to the bridge. Source: NZTA

The crossing over Waitematā Harbour, estimated at $785 million, including $100 million for land selection, will be a standalone structure next to the existing Harbour Bridge, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced on Friday.

The original cycle lane plan, which Labour campaigned on at last year's election, assumed that it could be attached to the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge.

However, design development, geotechnical investigations and testing found the existing piers were not able to accommodate the extra weight without considerable modifications.

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Officials have just released details of the plan, including a five-year timeline to have it completed. Source: Breakfast

The project is expected to take five years to consent and build.

The Taxpayers' Union has come out against Auckland's massive infrastructure project, though.

The union has launched a petition, which now has more than 20,000 signatures, calling for an end to funding of the project.

"The latest proposal for SkyPath has blown out costs to an eye-watering $685 million - more than $370 for every household in the country, from Kaitaia to the Bluff. Whether you use it or not, you'll be paying for it," the petition said.

"This project takes from poor taxpayers and gives to a rich, politically connected group of Takapuna lycra enthusiasts.

"We're calling on the Government to pull the funding and support more equitable and affordable transport projects."

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She said the Government had recently cancelled and delayed projects in the growing residential areas of South Auckland that she believed were of a higher priority. Source: 1 NEWS

However, when annoucing the project, Wood called the new bridge "an outstanding piece of tourism infrastructure".

"Northern Pathway is the missing link in Auckland's walking and cycling network and Aucklanders finally will be able to get across the harbour by foot or bike," he said.

"It's important we get it right and make sure it's an enduring piece of infrastructure, providing alternative modes of transport across the harbour and helping reduce congestion on our Auckland roads."