Cycle Action’s Feedback on the Proposals for targeted changes to the 2012 National Land Transport Programme co-investment ratios (funding assistance rates)
We are concerned that the proposed changes to the Funding Assistance Ratios (FARs) are going in the wrong direction, and in particular, are damaging to Auckland’s transport priorities. This is the case even with total funding remaining the same.
Particularly, but not solely, we oppose the proposed reductions to “Passenger transport facilities operations and maintenance” and “Public transport infrastructure”. These, especially if brought in under the proposed time frames, create major difficulties in forward planning for Auckland’s transport system, and leave Auckland Council either with unexpected budget shortfalls to cover (projected at $14 million/year), or the need to cancel planned public transport projects.
We consider it inappropriate for NZTA / the government to introduce these changes in such a way – i.e. directly, rather than phased in over, say, a decade, or at least with a 3-year “warning”, that would allow future NLTPs and RLTPs to accommodate this change in a reasonable fashion.
We consider that the proposed change, coming on top of recent cutbacks proposed in the GPS for public transport funding, can be taken as interference in Auckland’s transport planning choices, to a degree that is both abrupt and inappropriate.
Cycle Action Auckland therefore opposes the proposed reductions to the FARs, as they weaken Auckland’s desirable change to a less car-dominated transport system that provides greater resilience, sustainability, economic return and quality of life.
Failing a change to these proposals, we urgently request NZTA to introduce these funding changes over a much longer time frame (3-10 years), to ensure that there can be no question of unfair interference in Auckland’s local government decisions.