NZTA's announcement that they are now reviewing the options for Auckland Harbour Bridge's SkyPath has been labelled "a ploy to delay" its construction.
SkyPath Trust's project director Bevan Woodward said any change to the design will require reopening the resource consent application, when there have already been a number of independent studies to consider and evaluate all the possible design options.
His stance comes after NZ Transport Agency announced yesterday that it was "reviewing the design options for a shared path".
It a statement, general manager of system design and delivery Brett Gliddon said the Agency was determined to make the right decision.
"So far, the business-case process has been looking at a number of design options that could be possible, and we need to do more work before we know the right design to take forward.
"We want to get it right the first time, including the right width so more people can use it without restrictions, as well as the best materials to build the structure," Gliddon said.
However, Woodward said this is an unnecessary step, stating that NZTA's architects Monk McKenzie had already reviewed SkyPath and identified no key issues.
"Over the past decade NZTA has been involved every step of the way to arrive at the final design.
"There have been a number of independent studies to consider and evaluate all the possible design options," he said.
Woodward said SkyPath's resource consent cost circa $2 million, and Auckland Council is awaiting reimbursement of this cost by NZTA.
"NZTA is using SkyPath Trust's Intellectual Property without the legal right to do so and have disengaged from working with SkyPath Trust," he said.
"NZTA's claim they must review the design options is a disingenuous ploy to delay SkyPath. We must fight it and will put our marching boots on again if that's what it takes."
In yesterday's statement, Gliddon said the Transport Agency understands Aucklanders are very eager to cross the harbour on foot, their bikes and their scooters.
"We are working hard to make that happen as quickly as possible for the Aucklanders who have waited years for that opportunity as well as for new generations who are keen to leave the car at home," he said.
The Transport Agency Board will consider the outcomes of the business case by the middle of this year.
NZTA said the earliest construction could start on a walking and cycling path over the Auckland Harbour Bridge is late 2020.
NZTA issued another statement this afternoon saying: "A shared walking and cycling path across the Auckland Harbour Bridge is an important project for Auckland. It's part of the National Land Transport Programme and we're committed to progressing it.
"The Transport Agency recognises the valuable work the Trust has done in pioneering the project concept. We are endeavouring to work through the IP issue with the Trust to find a resolution."