Cycle bridge back-pedal a win for east

The challenge now, says MP Simeon Brown, is to ensure that the Eastern Busway, pictured, and Reeves Road Flyover are built in full and on time by 2025.
  • By Simeon Brown, MP for Pakuranga

On Saturday the Government announced that they will not be proceeding with their ill-conceived $785 million cycle bridge – and finally consigned it to the scrap heap where it belonged.

The Government has announced that instead they will be re-prioritising the Eastern Busway – which the Government cut funding from earlier this year in order to fund the cycle bridge.

This is a big win for east Aucklanders and taxpayers across New Zealand who spoke up in protest to the Government’s cycle bridge proposal from day one.

Botany MP Christopher Luxon and myself have been consistently calling on the Government to scrap the cycle bridge and prioritise the Eastern Busway. The cycle bridge was at best going to serve 3000 people whilst the Eastern Busway will benefit tens of thousands of commuters across east Auckland through improved public transport options and eased congestion around the Pakuranga Plaza with the Reeves Road Flyover.

Whilst it is good news that the cycle bridge has been canned, the challenge that we now have is that the Government spent talking about the cycle bridge for six months, which is time wasted on the next stage of the Eastern Busway from Pakuranga through to Botany.

What we know about this Government is that they are very good at announcing things, but never any good at actually delivering them – 100,000 Kiwibuild homes over 10 years and light rail from the City to the Airport are both good examples of this Government’s inability to actually deliver on what they announced.

The challenge now is to ensure that the Eastern Busway and Reeves Road Flyover are built in full and on time by 2025.

This was the timeframe that was set and funded by the last National Government back in 2017. In the four years since then we have had inaction and distraction by the Labour Government to the Eastern Busway meaning they have pushed the delivery date out to 2028 which is unacceptable.

Now that they have finally committed to delivering the project, it is time they gave a firm commitment that the project will be built in full from Pakuranga to Botany and that it will be constructed in the same time frame as funded by the last National Government with a completion date in 2025.

Christopher Luxon and l will be keeping the pressure on the Government’s delivery. We’ll strongly fight any further delays to the Eastern Busway, or any detours into exploring repeats of the cycle bridge or similarly pointless projects.