Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee yesterday highlighted increases in money for walking and cycling, as well as the acceleration of Auckland motorway projects, in a draft three-year land transport funding policy statement.
He announced a three-year transport spend of $10.5 billion to 2018, up from $9.5 billion for 2012 to 2015.
The statement gives ranges of spending over the various transport categories in which there will be a minimum of $1 billion and maximum of $1.4 billion spent next year on other new highway projects.
Maximum sums of $585 million are also flagged for state highway maintenance, and of $785 million for the Government's share of building and maintaining local roads.
No increase in a maximum spend of $390 million is indicated for next year for public transport, but average annual rises of 3 per cent are pencilled in from 2016-17.
Walking and cycling are promised annual increases of up to 3.5 per cent, compared with 1.9 per cent available until now, a point welcomed by the Automobile Association.
That is likely to include a new $13 million-plus shared cycling and walking route from Tamaki Drive to Glen Innes in Auckland, which the Government's Transport Agency hopes to start building with Auckland Transport early next year, after completing an $11 million bikeway through Grafton Gully in September.
But next year's funding range of $15 million to $33 million for walking and cycling left Cycling Advocates Network spokesman Patrick Morgan unimpressed. "It's underwhelming given cycling's compelling benefits."