At Bike Auckland we believe in creating a city that people want to invest in – and that more people riding bikes makes for a better city. Cleaner air, streets with birdsong, neighbours who know each other, elderly people staying active and healthy, children playing on quiet roads. Resilient, eco-friendly multi-modal communities which have long term sustainability. We can create this liveable city by investing in walking, cycling, and public transport. Investing now will save us more money in the future – which is why your feedback on this Auckland Budget is so important.
A resilient and sustainable budget should…
“super charge walking and cycling”,
“make public transport competitive with driving across the region”,
“Prioritise and resource sustainable transport”,
“make neighbourhoods safer with less traffic”,
be investing in the transport we want to see used in our region.
These quotes are pulled from the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway, and we absolutely agree! Let’s build a region that people want to invest in.
What is the Annual Budget?
Every year Auckland Council makes an Annual budget to show where it plans to invest money for the following financial year. Usually it makes this from its 10 year budget which sets out the budget priorities for the next 10 years. Because we are in the context of a new Council and a new Mayor this year’s budget is quite different.
Mayor Wayne Brown directed the Council staff to put together a draft annual budget which would overall reduce costs and pay back debt while keeping rates low. The resulting draft budget shows cuts to a range of programmes and Council services including Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, Local Boards, Eke Panuku Development Auckland, Tātaki Unlimited, and Watercare. Altogether this would mean cuts to cultural events, arts programmes, libraries, planned bus services, early childhood services, local community centres, grants, park maintenance, citizens advice bureau, and programmes to support our street whānau. It would also mean postponing many other projects, including some that would make areas safer for walking and cycling. The draft budget includes a proposal to sell airport shares and to increase operating budgets to prepare for extreme weather events.
It’s important to let them know your thoughts on these changes.
Currently it feels like a cycleway project is under threat each week – and the decision on the Great North road street improvement project just continues to get delayed. If it is delayed for much longer it will lose its co-funding from the Central Government.
So, this is also an opportunity to tell the Council loud and clear that safer streets are important to you. You can do this by explicitly stating that you support more investment in safe cycleways and safer streets in your submission on the Annual Budget.
How to submit
You can make your submission through the Auckland Council website ‘have your say’ form. The form has 7 multi-choice questions with a box for explaining your choice and comments under each. In the comments sections it’s helpful to tell your personal “why”; why does it matter to you? Talking about why it matters to you can be more powerful in helping others to connect with what you are expressing and to understand your point of view.
Check out Greater Auckland’s thoughts here.
Check out Big Street Bikers submission guide here.
If you have a Herald subscription there is a great series of articles on the budget starting with this one.
The Auckland Council budget summaries in different languages here. The budget document itself is really very long – 108 pages!
Make your submission by Tuesday 28 March 2023, 11pm
If you’re ready to go then jump right in and…
While we recommend you write your submission in your own words, we’ve provided some prompts here to help get you started. Please note that our focus is on transport. We suggest looking at other submission guides to get ideas on other areas that this budget will affect.
If you don’t have time to do a full submission
It’s okay to leave some parts blank – it’s better than not submitting at all. This is what we think the main points for transport are. You could put them all in Q7 the ‘what else is important to you’ section of the submission form. We recommend you include a personal story about why it matters to you.
- Support more investment in safer streets; including safe cycleways
- Support more investment in convenient and regular public transport, including provision of secure bike parking and safe cycleway connections at public transport hubs. For some people using public transport and cycling together as a combo is crucial for their trips.
- Support reducing speed limits to 30 km/ph to make streets safer (eg. for residential areas, around schools, through local shopping areas)
- Support making fast and affordable safe cycleways (eg. pop up bike lanes) and convenient public transport (eg. bus priority lanes). This can be done fast by reallocating road space (parking or extra lanes) and “building back better” during road renewals; giving all people safe options for getting around by any transport mode.
If you have a bit more time…
Q5 – local board priorities.
You can select your local board but you do not have to. You could comment on local boards in general. We recommend you state that you
- Do not support cuts to Local Board funding.
Local Boards often fund local walking and cycling projects such as their local bike hubs. There are currently 9 community bike hubs operating from shipping containers across Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, and, because of an awesome programme run by Auckland Transport, there will soon be roughly 5 more sprouting up with the support of their local communities. These hubs become important community spaces for resilience during emergencies; for example, Ōtara Bike Burb became a hub for getting meals and other relief items to their community during lockdown, and Tumeke Cycle Space was flooded during the recent storms but the community came together to clean the area and help them get set back up.
- If you live in the Franklin Local Board area you will see a question about a local targeted rate for a network of pathways throughout your area. We suggest you select ‘yes’.
This question relates to mahi Franklin Trails are doing with support from the local board to create safe off-road paths between small towns in the Franklin area; giving people the option to get around without a car, and creating safe spaces for recreation as well as active transport.
Q7 – What else is important to you?
Specify anything in particular that is important to you. You could mention…
- Support more investment towards vision zero; safer speeds and traffic calming. Since June 2020 the Auckland region has had an overall 9% increase in road deaths. However, in areas where speeds have been reduced there has been a 30% reduction in deaths. Streets that are 30km/hr are safer for people to share, and become more pleasant for everyone.
- Support more investment in public transport, walking and cycling projects. The proposed budget suggests a reduction in public transport services; including 138 fewer bus trips. You can show your support for more investment in public transport, more services, and provision for more safe walking and cycling in general.
- Do not support increasing public transport fares. Public transport costs should be competitive with the price of cars. With all the current cancellations they could at least make them affordable. We are thinking about members of our community who use a cycling-public transport combo because their trip is too long or because there is a Waitematā Harbour in the way.
- Support investment in and progress on the City Centre Master Plan which includes improvements for walking, cycling, and accessibility in the city centre.
- Support investment in Eke Panuku Development Auckland. Eke Panuku projects often include improvements for walking and cycling, setting up safe connections through town centres, or alongside streams. Often they are in lower socio-economic areas which benefit from the increased investment. Cuts to Eke Panuku would result in some of their development projects being postponed.
- Support Auckland Council to embed the Auckland Climate Plan, Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri, into their planning and decision making process in 23 – 24. The Auckland Council is planning to implement the climate plan so that it will be reflected in their mahi.
- Do not support the reduction of climate action related programmes. These programmes include; Live Lightly and Climate Action Grant, both of which often encourage people to change their transport behaviour; to cycle, walk, and take public transport, as well as mahi on marae and Council land.
- Climate Action Targeted Rate – the budget proposes to reallocate a portion of the climate action targeted rate to a different bus project. You can choose whether you support this choice or if you would prefer it to be left as is.
Check out other submission guides for ideas for feedback on the rest of the budget
Make your submission by Tuesday 28 March 2023, 11pm