Council responds to NZTA cycling review

1 June 2016

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has welcomed today’s release of the Morrison Low report on Wellington’s urban cycleways programme and says it is a positive opportunity to make further progress on cycleways with the fuller involvement of the community.

“The Morrison Low report is very frank and I intend to ensure the Council takes time to consider the report and its recommendations.

“Councillors and I were unanimous in our support for cycling improvements and significant increases in budgets – but we have learnt that we need to develop more options for cycle routes, with all their pros and cons, and listen more carefully to our communities.

“We have learned lessons from Island Bay and made progress through our consultation and decisionmaking on the Hutt Road and eastern suburbs cycleway proposals – with broader input from all sections of the community.

“The Morrison Low report shows the NZ Transport Agency wants to work with us and is open to being more flexible. For example it is open to relooking at the south coast-to-CBD cycle route which may mean changes to work already undertaken at Island Bay.

“I have greater confidence in Wellington City Council’s ability to engage with the community and deliver transport and infrastructure improvements following the appointment of a new Chief City Planner who will oversee the cycling programme.

“The audit on traffic safety for Island Bay will be complete by the end of June month when it will be considered by the Council’s Transport and Urban Design Committee along with recommendations from the Morrison Low report.

The Committee Chair, Councillor Andy Foster, says implementing cycleways in Wellington comes with significant challenges – especially where they have to pass through established residential or commercial areas. 

“The report acknowledges this – and notes similar challenges with new cycleways all over the world.

“We are already doing things better – in conjunction with the community – and I look forward to working with Central Government on a more collaborative approach to cycleway design,” he says.

“It is also good to see that NZTA is prepared to bring a more flexible approach to funding and priorities. For example this could allow us to relook at how we better connect to Island Bay, along with other priorities.”

Cr Foster adds that the timing of the cycling programme is important. “The review says the tight timeframe for the completion of the UCF programme by June 2018 could be better explained – we need to rectify that.

“It’s also really important to tell the story about the growth of cycling in context. It’s still a small but growing part of our transport system – and we need more people walking, cycling and using public transport as our city grows – just to keep everything moving.”