Window of opportunity to consider alternative Wellington cycleways options
MEDIA RELEASE I 14 April 2016
Mayoral Candidate Jo Coughlan met with Minister of Transport Simon Bridges yesterday to discuss Wellington cycleways and a range of transport issues.
“Yesterday I asked the Minister if there was a window of opportunity for Wellington to consider alternative cycleway options and consider these along with public feedback, while retaining critical central government funding. The Government has allocated $36.91 million for Wellington and local government a further $15.05 million as part of the Government’s Urban Cycleways Programme in Wellington City and the Hutt Valley.
“A thoroughly considered cycleway solution that will work, be iconic, and that we can be proud of for the next 100 years would be a better outcome for Wellington than pursuing the current piecemeal approach at any cost,” Coughlan said.
“The council’s Island Bay Cycleway has caused a lot of grief,” Coughlan said. “The feedback I am getting is that there are likely to be similar issues with implementing the Eastern Suburbs and Hutt Cycleway. People feel they are not being listened to and these cycleways will be bulldozed through regardless."
Coughlan along with Councillors Woolf and Marsh have met with members of the community and from discussions with a range of people, it appears there are other options that need to be considered.
“The cycleways are being rammed through on an adhoc basis. We are putting on bandaids instead of doing the job properly. Cyclists, road users and communities deserve better. We need a strategic, lasting solution that works for everyone and is an asset to the city.
“I am a huge supporter of sensible cycleways. They are great for health, fitness and the environment. However, given the Island Bay experience we need to do much better with our consultation processes and take the community with us.
“Today I will ask the Wellington City Council CEO in conjunction with NZTA to peer review the cycleways under consideration with a view to finding a better more visionary solution.
“The Minister acknowledged there is a small window of opportunity to do this, while protecting the committed central government investment in Wellington cycleways.
“Other global cities have built cycleways that differentiated their city from others. We have some great natural attributes for off-road cycling which are world-class. We have an opportunity to build an integrated cycleways network that will become an iconic part of the Wellington landscape over the next century.
“This work needs to be done if we are to get the best longterm result for Wellingtonians.
The Minister was encouraging of this approach. This isn’t about ideology or party politics. We need solutions we can all be proud of for the next 100 years.”
This review will not affect the $54 million Hutt Valley cycleway and resilience project between Petone and Ngauranga. This is an excellent infrastructure project that we have worked with Government on and I strongly support.
Contact: Councillor Jo Coughlan 021 522142 Contact Simon Bridges c/o Kirsty Martin 04 817 9494
Jo Coughlan was elected to council in 2007 and has represented the Onslow Western Ward for three terms. Since re-election in October 2010 she has led the city's Economic Development Strategy as Economic Portfolio Leader and Chair of the Economic Growth and Arts Committee. Jo was a Director of Positively wellington Tourism, which has now merged into WREDA.
Jo is married and has six children aged 13 to 24. She has a degree in Biochemistry from Otago University.
Jo's business, Silvereye Communications, provides PR and government relations advice to a range of public and private clients both in NZ and offshore.
Prior to establishing her own business, Jo has held senior communications roles in the public and private sector; and worked as a Press Secretary for NZ Foreign Minister Sir Don McKinnon.
Jo Co-Chair’s the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Charitable Trust and Chairs the Life Education Trust Wellington City. Jo has just stepped down, after six years, as Deputy Chair of The National Board of Life Education which provides health education to over 250,000 children nationally with 50 mobile classrooms across 30 trusts nationwide.