$7.5 million for cycleways network

Dunedin's beleaguered cycleway rollout is in line for more than $7.5million of investment over the next three years, but the bulk of the spending is still more than 14 months away.

The proposed investment is included in this year's annual plan, which will be considered by councillors on Monday before public consultation begins.

Government policies aimed to speed up the rollout of the country's cycleway infrastructure mean just 26% of the proposed Dunedin spend will come from ratepayers.

New Zealand Transport Agency and Urban Cycleway Fund contributions make up the rest of the sum to be invested.

The NZTA contributions will continue, albeit in decreasing percentages, until 2024, while the Urban Cycleway Fund contribution will cease at the end of the 2017-18 year.

Dunedin City Council network development and operations manager Michael Harrison said the relatively small spend earmarked for the coming financial year was representative of the planning and community engagement work to be done over that time.

The bulk of the intensive construction work would begin in the following year, with $1million from the 2016-17 budget being reallocated to the 2017-18 and 2018-19 years.

The lengthened planning phase follows the rollout being halted last year when significant negative feedback was voiced from the public and emergency services over the South Dunedin cycle network's [SDCN] design.

Much of the SDCN was removed and was being re-designed.

That experience led to council infrastructure and networks general manager Ruth Stokes suggesting the city's cycleways could cost ‘‘three to four times'' more per metre than first thought.

craig.borley@odt.co.nz

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