Governments $785 million Auckland Harbour cycle bridge: Vast majority opposed, poll shows

The vast majority of New Zealanders oppose the Government’s $785 million walking and cycling bridge crossing the Waitemata Harbour, according to a new poll.

The Newshub-Reid Research poll asked: Do you think the Government should spend $785 million on a cycle bridge?

The poll found 81.7 percent of respondents said they don’t support the bridge crossing, 11.9 percent said they did, and 6.4 percent said they didn’t know.

Respondents who identified as Labour voters were also strongly against the new bridge, with 75 per cent saying they were opposed to the project.

The results comes as Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said the Government is considering scrapping plans to build a dedicated bike bridge alongside the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Robertson, who is Minister of Finance and Infrastructure, told the Herald the Government wants to bring forward on a second Waitematā crossing, likely to be a tunnel.

He would not confirm that the walking and cycling bridge would definitely be going ahead, only that the bridge was the current proposal.

When asked whether he would renege on building the bridge, Robertson said “we continually look at the network and the programme to make sure that it works well”.

“We do want to find ways of connecting the North Shore and the isthmus for people on all different modes of transport – the exact way we do that, we’ve come up with a proposal, and we’re working that through.”

Robertson would not say whether the bridge would definitely happen, however it was the current proposal.

“That is the proposal we are working on,” he said.

The bridge has come under severe criticism since it was announced in June. Criticism has focused on its poor value-for-money and the fact it was announced at the same time as the Government scrapped a host of expensive roads.

The signal from Robertson comes hot on the heels of support for Labour falling by nearly 9.7 per cent to 43 per cent in Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll.

Robertson said he wanted a solution that treated all modes fairly. The current plan for the bridge only serves two modes – walking and cycling. Private vehicles and public transport are not included.

“What I’m saying is it is a transport network – we need to make sure that all modes get a fair go.”

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