Auckland Transport is under political pressure to accelerate a roading link in Mangere to replace a walkway with a history of sex attacks.

Although the proposed 250m roadway between the suburb's town centre and Windrush Close is at the top of the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board's priority list, it has been pushed back to 2016-17 in a council-initiated budget squeeze. But after hearing the board's safety concerns about the existing walkway, scene of several sexual attacks including the rape of an 8-year-old girl in 2009, the council's transport committee yesterday decided to ask Auckland Transport to consider bringing the $2 million project forward to next year.

Committee chairman Mike Lee said that aside from believing Auckland Transport should not have brushed aside an agreement it had made with the local board, he considered health and safety "a clincher argument".

Auckland Transport spokeswoman Sharon Hunter said her organisation would reassess the project in consultation with the police.