Luxon slams Government on cycle bridge

The Government has proposed building a crossing over the Waitemata Harbour for cyclists and pedestrians. Photo Scoop

Botany MP Christopher Luxon says the Government has already spent more than $30 million on the proposed new bridge for cyclists and pedestrians across the Waitemata Harbour.

Luxon, the National Party’s associate transport spokesman, describes the amount as “eye-watering” and says it could “balloon out even further despite overwhelming public opposition to the project as it stands”.

“In 2017 Labour promised to build the SkyPath crossing for $30 million,” he says.

“The latest version of this project has already cost taxpayers more than that without breaking any ground.

“So far the planned cycle bridge has cost $37m , with $20m spent on consultants alone over the past two financial years.

“The cycle bridge now has a price tag of $785m, and today Transport Minister Michael Wood could not rule out the final cost being significantly higher.”

Luxon says Aucklanders are stuck in gridlock and rural roads are in disrepair.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and councils don’t have enough money to maintain roads across the country, he says.

“Our most dangerous state highways are missing out on critical safety improvements.

“Meanwhile, the Labour Government is throwing the better part of a billion dollars at an ideological vanity project that the majority of New Zealanders oppose.

“We have no confidence Labour will even be able to build the cycle bridge.

“It couldn’t deliver SkyPath in its first term and National isn’t convinced the latest version will even make it off the plans, wasting more taxpayer money.”

Luxon says the Government should shift its focus from going ahead with a deeply unpopular cycle bridge and “telling people what cars they can and can’t ‘legitimately’ drive, to investing in projects that will boost productivity or meaningfully improve the lives of New Zealanders”.