INDEPENDENT NEWS

Public demonstration of support for SkyPath: Sunday, May 26

Published: Sat 4 May 2019 12:20 PM
Public demonstration of support for SkyPath: Sunday, May 26
What are we doing?
On Sunday morning, May 26 we are calling on Aucklanders to demonstrate their support for walking and cycling on our Harbour Bridge. We will gather at Point Erin at 9am and plan to walk and cycle across the Bridge as we did in 2009. It will be a significant occasion given it is the 60th anniversary of the Bridge.
Why are we doing this?
It has become apparent that NZTA has no intention of delivering SkyPath. In spite of the SkyPath design having been approved by NZTA, the resource consent issued and project funding granted by the Government, NZTA is now playing dirtier than ever:
• Since late last year, NZTA have imposed an information black out on SkyPath Trust. All correspondence goes through NZTA’s Official Information Act unit which rejects every request for information.
• NZTA now claim they do not know the design they helped develop, have approved internally, and have supported through SkyPath’s four year publicly notified consultation and resource consenting process
• NZTA refuse to meet with us to arrange for the use of SkyPath Trust’s intellectual property.
Further details are provided in the attached letter sent to NZTA's interim CEO.
What about safety? We will only cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge if Police can provide safe access. They provided this in 2009 when approximately 5,000 Aucklanders walked and cycled across the Bridge.
Won't this cause disruption to motorists?
No. NZTA can allocate the western clip-on lanes for the demonstration, whilst motorists use the remaining 6 motorway lanes.
What about security?
We don't see this as an issue. It wasn't in 2009.
What do we hope to achieve by this?
We want to give Aucklanders the opportunity to demonstrate their support for greater walking and cycling across Auckland. SkyPath is not only a flagship for the Government to transform the Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is the catalyst for the long overdue walking and cycling network across Auckland. It is an important response to climate change, traffic congestion and the many health issues caused by our car dependent transport system.
We were in a similar situation in 2009 when we felt compelled to demonstrate by marching over the bridge. NZTA had shut down communication saying walking and cycling across the bridge was not possible due to engineering constraints and lack of funding. That demonstration unlocked the subsequent progress on SkyPath which is now NZTA approved, resource consented and Government funded. We hope our demonstration will encourage NZTA to get on with delivering SkyPath.
See video of the 2009 demonstration:
https://youtu.be/mSzkeoCWVPM
http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1905/190503_NZTA_CEO_re_SkyPath_Demonstration_of_Support_signed.pdf

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