Vote Bike 2017 - Party Policy Comparison

How do the policies stack up? 

Bike Auckland’s editorial overview of all the parties who responded to our survey, and our take on how their overall cycling policy package stacks up by comparison.

Detailed party positions on each specific topic can be found via the colourful buttons at the bottom of this page.

We’ll update this page if new policy is released before the election.

NATIONAL

Hon Simon Bridges, MP

At the last election, National led the way with $100m of Crown funds for the Urban Cycleways Programme, a two-for-one scheme to unlock local body investment. It’s proudly mentioned in their election transport policy factsheet. So the obvious question is: when the UCP’s 3-year tranche ends in 2018… will National renew it?

The answer seems to be ‘no’. Although Minister Simon Bridges – who’s been a champion for bike projects – readily answered our survey, it’s been surprisingly difficult to get clarity on this one simple question. Repeated queries from us and others haven’t managed to shed any light.

Given the huge popular and economic impact of both the NZ Cycle Trail and the Urban Cycleways – and the minister’s genuine enthusiasm and evident pride in delivering cycleway projects – it’s startling to think that National might let go of this signature success. Especially when they’ve found space in the budget for $10.5 billion for new roads.

In this context, any talk of maybe funding SkyPath from a future Urban Cycleways fund is flummoxing: if there’s no fund… there’s no funding.

One tangential cycling-related election promise: a $6m contribution to Whanganui’s velodrome. And, from before the election campaign: $24m over 4 years for bike skills training.

To sum up National’s answers on our key topics:

  • No specific policy on kids biking to school, beyond current investment in urban cycleways.
  • A ‘no’ to renewing the UCP, unless we hear otherwise; National will however “continue to work with the Urban Cycleway Programme partners to build on New Zealand’s cycleway network”.
  • A safety approach of “lifting the standard of roads and making them safer for motorists”, via investment in roading projects, RoNS, the $600m Safer Roads Programme, plus New Zealand Safer Journeys Action Plan.
  • SkyPath preferred as a PPP; but “if the current funding model wasn’t viable” National “could consider it as part of a future UCP”, if it’s “technically feasible and supported by a sound business case.”

LABOUR

Michael Wood, MP

At the last election, Labour offered to exceed National’s spend on walking and cycling – but was short on details. This time round, Transport spokesperson Michael Wood – who regularly bikes around his Roskill electorate with his family – is both promising to renew the Urban Cycleways fund, and adding a contestable local fund of $15m/ year for walking and cycling projects, which will allow city councils and local boards to bid for matching funding to build safe routes.

Also, as announced at a dedicated policy launch, Labour will also commit to funding SkyPath to the tune of $30million.

In the context of their wider transport plan for Auckland, this offering is an encouraging leap forward for Labour, and a strong step ahead from National’s offering. We are very happy to endorse it as a meaningful advance on the current situation.

In short, here’s Labour’s position on our questions:

  • A new contestable ‘active neighbourhoods’ fund of $15m/year to support safe local routes and help more kids walk and bike to school
  • Yes to renewing the Urban Cycleways Programme.
  • Happy to commit to Vision Zero approach to road safety.
  • $30 million towards funding SkyPath.

GREENS

Julie Anne Genter, MP

The Green Party has had a highly ambitious and well-thought-out cycling policy since ages ago, as part of a larger commitment to prioritising active transport and public transport.

Last election, we rated the Greens top of the list for vision and coherence, and we see no reason to change that. This is visionary policy-making for a truly bike-friendly, low carbon future. We see the Greens as setting the bar. not only for what’s imaginable, but what’s achievable.

Transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter – who has literally campaigned on a bicycle – answered our questions so comprehensively that four bullet points doesn’t feel like enough:

  • A target of half of kids walking or biking to school again by 2022. Safe to School plan would invest $50m/ year from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) in infrastructure like safe, separated cycleways. Default speed limit around schools of 30kmh.
  • Funding: $1 Billion over ten years, equivalent to extending the UCP for a decade. Walking and cycling to become the top priority for transport planning and investment, with targets for decreasing vehicle kilometers travelled (VKT) and increasing the share of walking, cycling, and public transport. All street upgrades to take active modes into account when rebuilding.
  • Vision Zero as a key priority for transport policy and funding. NACTO Global Street Design Guide and CROW Design Manual for Bike Traffic 2016 to become the default basis of NZ street design in towns and cities.
  • Skypath to be funded entirely from the NLTF:  “We have been committed to this since before the 2014 election. It makes no sense to toll people walking and cycling.”

Denis O’Rourke, MP

NZ FIRST

NZ First’s transport spokesperson, Denis O’Rourke MP, gave refreshingly concise answers:

  • Get more kids biking to school by: working with local authorities (including funding assistance) to provide more on road and off road cycleways and other cycle facilities.
  • Yes to renewing the Urban Cycleways fund.
  • Yes to Vision Zero and Living Streets principles.
  •  A general yes to SkyPath (we await clarification on specifics).

TOP

Geoff Simmons

The Opportunities Party’s transport spokesperson, Geoff Simmons, who bikes to meetings, was equally concise and on point, with a focus on evidence-based policy.

  • More bike lanes as a health and cost-effective transport option for getting more people on bikes, including kids to school. Will also encourage kids to go to local schools, making active transport a natural choice.
  • For funding cycleways: TOP would depoliticise the National Land Transport Fund to favour the most cost-effective transport options, which would put active and public transport at the top of the list.
  • Happy to commit to the Vision Zero approach to road safety.
  • SkyPath should be centrally funded: “If transport were funded correctly, SkyPath would most likely be funded from the National Land Transport Fund.”

MAORI PARTY

Marama Fox, MP

The answers from Marama Fox focus on reducing transport disadvantage “by shifting the focus of private car use to one where public transport, walking and cycling are much greater, viable alternatives.” Strengthening communities and reconnecting to the environment are also strong themes; likewise “improving urban design and broadband, so that people are less likely to have to travel, or can walk or cycle.”

  • No specific policy on kids biking to school; but a strong reiteration of the values above.
  • Bike-friendly cities to be achieved by “greater investment in and further development of low cost, regular and reliable public transport, including fully connected and integrated cycle tracks and walkways to respond to the dual challenges of peak oil and climate change by reducing the nation’s oil dependency and carbon emissions.”
  • On safety: we need to do more. “The thousands of families and whanau who have lost loved ones to motor vehicle crashes would all point to the need for greater education, engineering advances and enforcement policies that reduce the road toll.”
  • No specific position on SkyPath.

UNITED FUTURE

Damian Light

New leader Damian Light responded in his capacity as candidate for Botany. In short:

  • Funding education on safe riding, providing separated bike lanes around schools and empowering communities to set speed limits in areas like schools.
  • Balancing the roads with more options for cyclists, including a comprehensive network of physically protected bike lanes, bike racks and lockups at key locations, and bike share options.
  • Reducing deaths and injuries a priority, regardless of mode of transport.
  • No stated position on SkyPath.

ACT

No response. Here’s their transport policy, which doesn’t mention cycling at all; although we hear party leader David Seymour rides an e-bike.


To compare the party positions on each specific topic, click on the buttons below.


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Vote Bike is a Bike Auckland initiative for the 2017 General Election. Authorised by Barbara Cuthbert of 2A St Aubyn St, Devonport, Auckland 0624, on behalf of Bike Auckland, of 2A St Aubyn St Devonport Auckland 0624.