Time for WCC to grab Key’s cycling money

The Green Party is urging Wellington City Councillors to take on board Prime Minister John Key’s comments and not vote today to hold up progress on cycleways.

At yesterday’s post-Cabinet press conference Mr Key said:

“I think we’ve got the capacity with the government resources, and working with the council, to complete some of those cycleways in a reasonable timeframe. I don’t know why the council is slow at the moment on these particular issues given the mayor is a keen advocate of cycling. The government has got resources there and I’m hoping the Council can sort it out.”

“The whole purpose of us putting in the money in terms of urban cycleways is a reflection of the amount of demand that’s there and interest that not just Wellingtonians but people around the country have for a much safer cycling environment. If you look at the Petone foreshore into the Wellington CBD for instance, what a magnificent cycleway that could be and how safe it could be, and how dangerous it can be currently.”

The Wellington City Council will vote today on whether to remove decision-making power over cycleways from the Transport and Urban Development Committee, meaning that the full council would make all decisions about cycleways. In practical terms, this will cause significant delays to important infrastructure builds.

Green Party Wellington issues spokesperson Gareth Hughes said: “The proposed procedural roadblocks are unnecessary and unwelcome.”

“Wellingtonians and even the Prime Minister just want the council to get on with building more cycleways. Councillors ought to get on their bikes. Wellington has already missed out on one round of government funding for cycling.”

“Wellington has the strongest cycling growth out of all the main centres, but is one of the most dangerous cities for cyclists, according to the Ministry of Transport. Urgent action is needed to make cycling safer in the capital.”