A toll-free SkyPath across harbour at no cost to ratepayers
“As a result of discussions with Transport Minister Simon Bridges we have the opportunity to deliver a toll-free SkyPath at no cost to Auckland ratepayers” says SkyPath Project Director Bevan Woodward.
“Earlier this year when Downer Construction withdrew from the SkyPath PPP they advised that SkyPath was too small and unique to work as a PPP. We then met with the Transport Minister Simon Bridges to discuss the issues with the proposed PPP. Whilst he wanted to see if the PPP could still be made to work, we were reassured when the Minister advised that he could fund SkyPath in the next tranche of the Government's Urban Cycleway Program funding.”
Subsequent to Downer Construction's withdrawal, the SkyPath Trust has also given notice that it is withdrawing from the PPP arrangement. Like Downer Construction, the Trust does not believe SkyPath is a suitable project to be delivered as a PPP.
Andy Smith, a SkyPath Trustee says “With the PPP having foundered, we see Minister Bridges' offer to fully fund SkyPath as the best way forward. This means we can avoid both the tolling of SkyPath users and the revenue underwrite by Council's ratepayers for the 25 year period as required by the PPP.”
“It would not be unusual for the Government to fully fund SkyPath. Given it is part of NZTA's State Highway such an asset would ordinarily be fully funded by central Government. With the demise of the PPP we believe it is now time to allow Minister Bridges to include SkyPath in the next tranche of Urban Cycleway Program funding. From the feedback we’re getting, a toll-free SkyPath has wide support from Aucklanders.”