$20 'tax' proposed to fund cycleways

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Last updated 17:28 26/02/2013
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LATEST: A proposed $20 tax to fund a city-wide network of cycleways has been backed by Christchurch city councillors and will now go out for public comment.

The tax, or uniform annual charge, was proposed by Mayor Bob Parker as a way of funding nearly $70 million worth of new cycleways across the city and a new $2m walkway around Lyttelton Harbour.

See the city council's proposed transport plan by clicking here.

He asked councillors at a special meeting today to consider the proposed draft three-year plan to support his proposal, telling them if the council is committed to promoting active travel in the city it needs to put its money where its mouth is.

"It is a stake in the ground. It is saying not just that we think these are great ideas but we are going to do something about it,'' Parker said this morning.

Councillors vote in favour of the proposal late this afternoon. However, it remains as a draft plan and will be open to public consultation.

Two weeks ago Cr Aaron Keown urged the council to spend $69 million to create a city-wide cycleway network - equivalent to a 1 per cent increase in rates, or $16 a year for an average household.

The city council's environment and infrastructure committee earlier considered a report suggesting the council give priority to just six of 13 cycleway projects identified as key to getting more people cycling. 

The top six were collectively costed at $25.2m and the remaining seven, another $43.4m.

Keown urged the council to fund all 13. "I think you do it all and do it well, or you don't bother."  

PROPOSED CYCLEWAYS

- The 13 cycleways proposed for Christchurch and their costs: 

- The University of Canterbury route, which runs from the university to the central city. Cost: $1.9 million. 

- The Grassmere Route, from the Northlands Shopping Centre to the central city. Cost: $3m. 

- The Little River route, from the city through to the start of the Little River Rail Trail. Cost: $2.7m. 

- The northern rail route, which extends and upgrades the northern and southern sections of the off-road rail pathway from Factory Rd in Belfast, with a link into South Hagley Park, to the central city. Cost: $6.7m.

- The Avon River route, which connects New Brighton to the central city by the river corridor. Cost: $4.2m. The Sumner to city route. Cost: $6.7m.

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- The western orbital route, which tracks around the suburbs from Hoon Hay through Middleton, Upper Riccarton, Bryndwr and Papanui. Cost: $8.6m. 

- The Hornby rail route, which runs from Templeton to Addington and connects with the northern railway route at Hagley Park. Cost: $12.6m. 

- The Halswell to city route, which follows Halswell and Lincoln roads to South Hagley Park. Cost: $4.2m. 

- The Heathcote River-Heritage Trail route, which follows the river to Ferrymead. Cost: $3m. 

- The south to city route, which runs along the foot of the Port Hills and links with the Heathcote River route. Cost: $2.9m. 

- The Heathcote Rail Route, which primarily uses the rail corridor to travel through Woolston, Opawa, Waltham and Sydenham into the city centre. Cost: $7.8m. 

- The Christchurch International Airport route, which provides a link to the airport and its wider employment and business areas. Cost: $4.3m. 

- The Press

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