Bridge decision delayed

By Mathew Dearnaley

A decision on whether walking and cycling links across Auckland Harbour Bridge should be added to a regional list of transport projects has been delayed until after the election.

The Transport Agency's Government-appointed board discussed the links at its second monthly meeting in succession on Friday, but deferred a decision until next week after a presentation from the Getacross campaign and Auckland Regional Council representatives.

It will hold a special meeting just two days before a deadline for applications to the Auckland Regional Transport Authority for projects to be considered for inclusion in a three-year regional transport programme from July.

Transport Agency chairman Brian Roche said his board would consider a range of state highway activities to be forwarded to regional councils around New Zealand. It was working in good faith with the campaigners.

But the bridge was a critical part of the highway network, and any decision on its use needed careful evaluation.

"Our objective is to help find the best way to satisfy everyone who depends on the harbour bridge."

Getacross spokesman Bevan Woodward said the board was obviously finding it difficult to reach a consensus, so it should follow "due process" by allowing walking and cycling links to be put forward for regional consideration.

Regional transport chairwoman Christine Rose said she was pleased the project was still alive as it was crucial to the Government's target of boosting "active modes" of transport such as walking and cycling to 30 per cent of urban trips by 2040.

- NZ Herald

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