Is Simon Bridges overtaking Steve Joyce as NZs biggest socialist weasel?

Simon Bridges is starting to take some gloss off Steve Joyce’s crown as NZ’s biggest socialist weasel.

He is being reported as being in favour of paying for Skypath because no commercial partner can be found to build the stupid thing.

A walking and cycling route over Auckland’s Harbour Bridge could be toll-free for Aucklanders.

SkyPath project director Bevan Woodward said on Friday the $34 million route could be delivered at no cost to Auckland ratepayers through Government funding.

The development comes after a series of setbacks since the project got resource consent last November, including major partner Downer Group withdrawing from the public-private partnership (PPP) earlier this year.

Downer left the PPP with Auckland Council and the SkyPath Trust, saying it was “too small and unique” to work. 

If a commercial partner decides it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. That is a good signal to the government that it is a dud project. Except to people like Steve Joyce and Simon Bridges.

The SkyPath Trust announced this week it was also withdrawing from the PPP agreement.

Even the socialists are leaving.

Woodward said he had met with Transport Minister Simon Bridges in March, who was “very much affirming the Government’s willingness to fund the project”.

While Bridges wanted to see if the PPP could still be made to work, Woodward said he was “reassured” when the Minister advised he could fund SkyPath in the next tranche of the Government’s Urban Cycleway Programme funding. 

“He was very supportive, he said he saw it as a missing link.”

Well, there is reason number 472 to NOT vote National. Pandering to road maggots.

A spokesman for Bridges said the Government had not agreed “at this time” to fully fund the project.

“If the project is technically feasible and is supported by sound business case it could be considered for funding as part of a future Urban Cycleway Programme,” he said.

The next funding tranche would become available on July 1, 2018.

Weasel words.

The proposed PPP approach, which the Trust withdrew from this week, would mean 25 years of tolling SkyPath users, and annual revenue underwritten by Auckland Council.

The PPP would see costs of about $248m over 25 years, to pay for construction, operations, maintenance and profit costs, Woodward said.

Under the PPP, HOP card users were to have free access, while those without, including visitors to Auckland, would pay a fee.

SkyPath will connect to the $34m SeaPath cycleway along the motorway to Esmonde Rd and Takapuna. That part of the route was expected to be funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency.

An independent study approved by Auckland Council showed estimates of more than 700,000 SkyPath trips in its first year, reaching 1.2m trips a year within five years.

Those assumptions are bullshit and pie in the sky….path. Kill the project before any more money is wasted.

Simon Bridges needs to pull his oily little head in. It is almost like he has a micro-penis and is trying to compensate.

 

-Fairfax

 

 


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