Dunedin projects ready, but Government funding has dwindled

The Dunedin City Council has added more urgent language to its commitment to cycleways and walkways, but heard yesterday government funding for such initiatives has decreased.

Deputy mayor Syd Brown told the annual plan meeting it had become apparent that while there was a special government fund for cycleways and walkways, overall there was less money available.

The Government recently reduced from $70 million to $50 million the amount it will spend on cycleways and walkways through the national land transport fund over the next three years, but approved a separate $50 million for cycleway proposals made through the Ministry of Tourism.

"We don't know what that means as yet," Cr Brown said, but it appeared money would come through tourism budgets, rather than from Land Transport New Zealand (LTNZ).

"There's a pool of money for that, but it's for the whole country."

The council had projects ready to go.

Cr Kate Wilson said it was clear from annual plan hearings cycleways and walkways were important to the public, and suggested it be noted they were a priority.

Cr Andrew Noone said all roading projects had an aspect of government funding, and council staff would have to work to acquire as much of that as possible.

Cr Richard Walls warned against rushing into funding the initiatives before getting as much as possible from the Government.

The meeting voted "that the council moves forthwith to finalise the cycleways, walkways and State Highway 88 strategies, and prioritise tourism, sustainability and environmental aspects, and that regular reports be made to the infrastructure services committee".

- david.loughrey@odt.co.nz


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