Bikes are climate action. They are essential in the face of climate catastrophe, when decarbonisation is more crucial than ever.
Bikes are also essential in a COVID election. Many major cities worldwide committed to urban renewal during their lockdowns. Tāmaki Makaurau must create easy, accessible pathways for hygienic choices.
Dr Kirsty Wild of The University of Auckland’s Medical and Health Sciences Faculty wrote earlier this year that streets are spaces “where large numbers of people mix and where big improvements can be made quickly”. Bikes are great for social distancing, and even better for connectivity and boosting mental health. It’s why Dr Wild rightly pointed out the need to create “more safe space for… ‘open air’ modes such as walking, scooting and cycling”.
On top of this, the clock is well and truly ticking when it comes to decarbonisation…
Today, early voting opens for Election 2020.
Which parties have plans to mitigate these problems? Plans to provide critical improvements by investing in cycling? Will they prioritise this over unsustainable investments that exacerbate an already dire problem?
Below, we’ve outlined the policies, plans and ideas of six different parties. Each party’s section begins with their cycling policies, if they have them. As public transport and rail infrastructure go hand in hand with cycling, each section also covers the party’s public transport, rail, funding, and urban planning policies.
Click on each heading to expand the policies!
- Replace petrol taxes with a road pricing system
- Establish an independent infrastructure corporation
- The Green Party is proposing a nationwide $1.5 billion Cycle Super Highway Fund, which would be available to Auckland. These projects will be 100% funded by central government in the same way major urban motorways are.
- The following Auckland routes could be good candidates for funding:
- A Northern Cycle Highway connecting the city to Takapuna and Albany via a dedicated walking and cycling path over the Harbour bridge and a continuous off-road path north. The entire cycleway is estimated to cost around $600 million, however, only the section between Akoranga and Constellation Drive requires new funding.
- A Southern Cycle Highway connecting the CBD to Newmarket, Ellerslie, Penrose, Manukau, and Māngere. This could connect to the section already funded and in construction between Takanini and Papakura, and the planned extension to Drury as part of the motorway expansion.
- An Eastern Cycle Highway connecting the eastern suburbs of Botany, Pakuranga, Panmure, Glen Innes, and Orakei to the CBD. This would involve completing the final stage of the Glen Innes to Tamaki project and building a new cycleway from Glen Innes to Panmure. It could then connect to the shared path under construction as part of the AMETI busway.
- A Western Cycle Highway connecting the western suburbs of New Lynn, Glen Eden, and Glendene to Avondale and the existing connection to the North Western Cycleway.
- Investigate and where possible address the factors that discourage people from cycling.
- Require major public investments (such as new hospitals) to ensure that access is pedestrian and cycle friendly with secure cycle parking.
- Require all road controlling authorities (e.g. Councils, NZTA) to have in place plans to support active modes, and specific contact points for walking and cycling issues, within three years, as a condition of funding.
- Ensure that public transport services are ‘cycle friendly’ as a condition of receiving public funding.
- Over the next ten years the Green Party will complete key parts of the city’s rapid transport system including: a new light rail line to Māngere and the airport; a new light rail line to the north western suburbs; beginning work on a second harbour crossing with light rail to Takapuna and Albany
- Create a National Policy Statement on sustainable urban form and National Environmental Standards addressing the environmental effects of transport to guide local authorities.
- Ensure legislation and planning recognise that streets are public spaces that affect the way people live, work, play and learn, rather than simply vehicle corridors.
- Continue to roll out the NZ Upgrade Programme, now set in stone under the Government Policy Statement, which currently includes 100km of new cycleways.
- Aim to increase the safety and availability of cycleways throughout the next term if reelected.
- Aim to ensure all new state highway projects, such as Mill Road, will include walking and cycling.
- Continue to fast-track transport infrastructure projects.
- Funding under the NZ Upgrade Programme will remain, except for a 44% increase in spending on walking and cycling.
- Continue to fast-track transport infrastructure projects.
- Build a rail link to Auckland airport from Puhinui.
- Build a fourth main rail line in Auckland.
- Build a road and rail tunnel under Auckland harbour.
- Build bus rapid transit from Onehunga to Auckland CBD
- Build a north-west bus rapid transit corridor in Auckland
- Increase funding for Auckland ferry services
- Fund new transport infrastructure through increased crown entity borrowing
- Repeal the Auckland regional fuel tax and pause any fuel tax increases for three years
- Increase funding for Auckland local board priority projects
- Use tolls to fund some new roads
- Replace the RMA with separate laws for environmental standards and urban planning
- Increase funding for Hillside rail workshop
- Remove the Fringe Benefit Tax from bicycles, allowing employers to run cheap cycle purchase schemes for their staff.
- Back the use of temporary trial cycle lanes, including putting planter boxes up to create cycle lanes.
- Increase Local Government funding by 20% for public and active transport infrastructure.
- Allow councils to introduce congestion charging
- Review regulations that prioritise private cars
- Establish a fund for climate change adaptation
- Redirect GST revenue from construction to local government for infrastructure development
- Replace the RMA with three separate laws for urban development, rural areas and oceans
- Encourage greater cooperation between councils on building consents
- Require councils to consider children when granting resource consents and developing district plans
Disclaimer: Bike Auckland is a non-partisan organisation. We gave each party included in this schedule the same opportunity to answer our questions. All of the information provided has been sourced through official party websites, politicians themselves, and The Spinoff’s Policy tool. We would like to give special thanks to The Spinoff for their valuable work collating party policies!