Some weeks ago, our cycling advocate friends from Wellington came to us to discuss some really bad news: Citing the high costs involved with improving the earthquake-proofing of Wellington buildings, their Council was proposing to do away with most of their cycle funding for the coming years (we didn’t yet get into details, but I suspect the budget proposal did NOT do away with building lots of new roads and state highways at the same time….). CAA promised to help as we could, and everyone expected a drawn-out campaign.
Now we get the great news that all 15 Councillors have voted in favour of an amendment to reinstate the cycle funding! Whew. This reminds us of the (also successful) fight of CAA and other groups when North Shore City Council proposed to reduce cycle funding to absolutely zero for 7 out of the coming 10 years, back around 2009. There too, cycling had been proposed to be the “fall guy” for ruthless cuts to achieve unrelated budget aims, while the general transport budgets were being cut by a much lesser degree. So it is great to hear that Wellington Councillors see the value of cycling, and decided to have nothing of such cutbacks.
Image at right: Earlier in 2012, Associate Transport Minister Chris Tremain handing a Cycle Friendly Award to Wellington City Council engineer Paul Barker, with Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown in the background. Image Copyright Alastair Smith, CC-BY-SA-2.0