Aucklanders, SkyPath needs YOU! Public Demonstration of Support: Sunday 9am, May 26

Our protest in 2009. It brough NZTA back to the table and resulted in an approved design, a resource consent and the funding!

Will you join our SkyPath rally on Sunday, 9am, May 26?  Download the flyer.

We will gather at Point Erin (south side of the Bridge) at 9am and plan to walk and cycle across the Bridge (and back) as we did in 2009 (click for an awesome video!).  It will be a significant occasion given it is the 60th anniversary of the Bridge. Please invite your friends and family!

We’ve set up this Facebook event so you can advise if you intend coming along.

Why are we doing this? 
It has become apparent that NZTA has no intention of delivering SkyPath.  In spite of the SkyPath design having been approved by NZTA, the resource consent issued and project funding granted by the Government, NZTA is now playing dirtier than ever:

  • Since late last year, NZTA have imposed an information black out on SkyPath Trust.  All correspondence goes through NZTA’s Official Information Act unit which declines every request for information.
  • NZTA now claim they do not know the design (even they supported the design process and the resource consenting.
  • NZTA refuse to meet with us to arrange for the use of SkyPath Trust’s intellectual property.

What about safety? We will only cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge if Police can provide safe access.  They provided this in 2009 when approximately 5,000 Aucklanders walked and cycled across the Bridge. We plan to walk & cycle up to the top of the bridge from the Curran Street on-ramp and return the same way.

Won’t this cause disruption to motorists?
No. NZTA can allocate the western clip-on lanes for the demonstration, whilst motorists use the remaining 6 motorway lanes.

Why is NZTA blocking SkyPath?
NZTA’s management don’t see active transport (walking, cycling, escooters, etc) as having a role to play in resolving traffic congestion, climate change and all the related health issues of our overly car-dependent transport system. NZTA see SkyPath and SeaPath has having some tourism value but fail to see how it adds the capacity of an additional traffic lane to the Harbour Bridge… a healthy, fun and congestion free lane across the Waitemata!

What do we hope to achieve by this?
We want to give Aucklanders the opportunity to demonstrate their support for greater walking and cycling across Auckland. We hope that this will convice NZTA to get on with it!

We were in a similar situation in 10 year s ago when we felt compelled to demonstrate by marching over the bridge in 2009.  NZTA had shut down communication saying walking and cycling across the bridge was not possible due to engineering constraints and lack of funding.  That demonstration unlocked the subsequent progress on SkyPath which is now NZTA approved, resource consented and Government funded.

SkyPath is not only a flagship for the Government to transform the Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is the catalyst for the long overdue walking and cycling network across Auckland.  It is an important response to climate change, traffic congestion and the many health issues caused by our car dependent transport system.  

38 Responses to “Aucklanders, SkyPath needs YOU! Public Demonstration of Support: Sunday 9am, May 26”

  1. 4 May 2019

    Kit O’Halloran said:

    Why is Skypath being delayed?

  2. 5 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    NZTA’s management they don’t see active transport (walking, cycling, escooters, etc) as having a role to play in resolving traffic congestion, climate change and all the related health issues of a car dependent transport system. They see SkyPath and SeaPath has having some tourism value but fail to see how it adds the capacity greater than an additional traffic lane to the Harbour Bridge. A healthy, fun and congestion free lane across the Waitemata!

  3. 5 May 2019

    Dennis Palliser Worley said:

    I am amazed the we are STILL waiting for the SkyPath!

    Just GET IT DONE!

  4. 5 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    If enough Aucklanders come on Sun, May 26 to demonstrate their support then we will GET IT DONE!

  5. 5 May 2019

    Dennis Palliser Worley said:

    Please make it happen!

  6. 5 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    We are trying but having led the horse to the water, it’s proving very hard to make it drink!

  7. 5 May 2019

    John Harris said:

    Wow – very disappointing. NZTA are doing a great job of letting us all down. Skypath makes sense – I get there are concerns and that’s why there is a process. Sounds like NZTA have stop representing us – time for a change?

  8. 6 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    Yes, NZTA’s current CEO is only an interim since Fergus Gammie quit in December 2018. Mr Gammie was no fan of SkyPath and nor was NZTA Chair Michael Stiassny who quit on April 26. They were of the thinking that traffic congestion is solved by building bigger roads (the LA approach) and could not see a role for active transport in Auckland.

  9. 5 May 2019

    Brendan Barry-Walsh said:

    Bevan and Andy are surely world champions at patience and dogged persistence. Not by choice mind you but you get my vote to be on NZTA board!
    See you on the 26th

  10. 6 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    Thanks Brendan, for what a lot of people say is a “no brainer” this has been a surprisingly challenging project. We’ve been amazed at the number of senior managers (and Chairs) at NZTA who have been willing to go to extraordinary lengths to block SkyPath!

  11. 6 May 2019

    Warwick said:

    Is there a way of RSVPing without using Facebook? Sorry, but I hate Facebook and have no desire to create an account again on it.

  12. 7 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    I’m no fan of Facebook either. It’s OK because lots of folk are likely to turn up without having RSVP’d.

  13. 7 May 2019

    dave said:

    this is so great!
    we will of course bring the whole family.

    what time will the walk/bike be likely to depart?
    we would like to catch the birkenhead ferry over, but first sailing is not until 9:35 on a sunday.
    would be a shame to have to drive over and back.

    dave.

  14. 7 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    You’ll be fine on that ferrry. We’ll aim to start crossing about 9:30am but it’s likely to be delayed whilst we negotiate with NZTA, see:
    https://youtu.be/mSzkeoCWVPM

  15. 10 May 2019

    Ian Parkes said:

    All power to you Bevan and co. Went to Bike Auckland website a little while ago to check on progress, as I hadn’t heard of any, and there was NOTHING new since announcement of go-ahead in August. This is a national scandal. It is a disgrace that an organisation set up to ensure the movement of people has chosen to – or possibly ordered to by (previous?) government – to ignore people chosing different options -who are actually reducing the demand on roads.

    I was equally disgusted to see so little effort being put into southern motorway cycle path when the northwestern is such a roaring success. A video at peak times comparing movements on cycle path with movement on north-western motorway would be very interesting. Number of movements on each might be surprisingly close and, if you compared cost for each, well the best value for NZTA funding would surely be a massive endorsement for cycle infrastructure.

    But back to the bridge: Delighted to hear of this protest but dismayed that its the 10th anniversary of a clear public mandate for access and still not a single spanner turned. Once every 10 years isn’t exactly being stroppy. Clearly we need to be!

    And I’m shocked and disgusted at NZTA’s blockading of Skypath detailed above. Clearly taking their PR advice from the Trump administration. Hope you are taking their refusal to honour OIA requests to the Ombudsman? I’ll be demanding answers from my MP about this. That’ll be interesting as he’s currently campaigning to get more cars down Onewa Road.

  16. 10 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    Thanks for your comments Ian. We made a submission to the Ombudsman’s recent review of misuse of the OIA by Govt departments and will be lodging a formal complaint about NZTA with the Ombudsman’s office in the next week or so.

  17. 10 May 2019

    Debi Pyle said:

    Well done Bevan and Andy, love your work. Keep going, kia kaha, you have our support.

  18. 10 May 2019

    Marianne said:

    Thanks Bevan and Andy; so grateful you guys have stuck with it all this time and not given up!
    Will be there on the 26th.

  19. 11 May 2019

    Joanna said:

    Thanks for your amazing efforts!

    Some numbers from the NZTA- ” National Land Transport Programme 2018-2021″ presumably their Strategic Plan August 2018!! Which they obviously aren’t following!

    …..”AND WILL BE INVESTED IN…
    Walking & cycling improvements
    $390m
    ….
    $1,293m
    Road, walking & cycling network operation & maintenance
    $5,767m”

    …”A number of key infrastructure projects will enable more active ways for people to move safely and easily. SKYPATH AND SEAPATH are key links in Auckland’s walking and cycling network which WILL BOTH be delivered by the Transport Agency, enabling project efficiencies and improved coordination. There will be investment to progress the SeaPath project, a shared path between Esmonde Road and the Auckland Harbour Bridge, as well as SkyPath, a shared path across the bridge itself. …”

    Feeling very cross!! Can’t be there on Sunday but will be in spirit.

  20. 13 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    Thanks for pointing that out Joanna, I didn’t realise that the NLTP was so specific re SkyPath (and SeaPath)! I note NZTA describe the NLTP as “our commitment to provide New Zealanders with a safe, accessible, efficient and connected transport system.” Unfortunately there are some rogue elements within NZTA who are hellbent on disrupting the Government’s ‘year of delivery’.

  21. 15 May 2019

    Josie said:

    Have the police said whether they will be able to provide safe access?

  22. 16 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    No, we’ll ask them on the day (like last time)

  23. 17 May 2019

    Paul Ryan said:

    Hi Bevan, I’m also very frustrated at the inactivty of NZTA for Skypath. Im wanting to know, how does this ridiculous situation we are in, happen?? How? There must be specific individuals, or some inherent opposition within. Yet council or govt have already tasked them, to go ahead with it.

  24. 18 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    Hi Paul, to be honest NZTA has never been a fan of the project. We’ve had to drag them them along over the last 10 or so years to get their approval and assistance with the Resource Consenting. Yes, Government has funded it and asked NZTA to deliver SkyPath. But NZTA’s managemet has gone rogue. Their Chair fought against SkyPath bitterly but thankfully he’s recently departed. We had hoped NZTA’s new interim CEO Mark Ratcliffe would work with us to find a solution – but despite Julie Anne Genter’s urging for the parties to meet, he refuses and the project is delayed. We hope that the SkyPath Rally will encourage NZTA to come back to the table and work with us to get SkyPath constructed by 2021.

  25. 19 May 2019

    Clint Epps said:

    Just crack on and get it done. I’m seriously considering selling my north shore house, bought on the back of your promise, and buying something in Auckland. You’re utter incompetence is a joke.

  26. 19 May 2019

    Mike Walker said:

    Whats the hold up?? Sydney has had walk/cycle across their bridge since 1936. tell those responsible for any delay to just get on with the job. How bout making public the names of anyone who opposes the bike path so we can vote them out at the next council/parliament elections?

  27. 19 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    Hi Mike, the good news is that the Government supports SkyPath. They have allocated the funding and asked NZTA to deliver it. The bad news is that NZTA management is opposed and using delay tactics to deny progress.

  28. 19 May 2019

    Graham Orbell said:

    NZTA’s delaying tactics are shameful. Heads should roll. They should not be called an “Authority”. They should be a service.

    It’s been a great deal longer than 10 years of delays. It was around 1984, about 35 years ago, that the then Harbour Bridge Authority ran a shuttle service for bikes from what is now the police building on the north side of the bridge. They had a trailer for the bikes towed by a passenger van and dropped us off by the Point Erin Pool. This was their answer to a campaign to create a cycle lane on the bridge. I was one of the regulars and rode my 1984 10 speed Raleigh Royale from Beach Haven. I worked in College Hill. I still have and ride the Raleigh Royale.

    The shuttle service was designed to fail which it eventually did.

    I’m looking forward turning up on Sunday but I’ll leave the 10 speed at home and bring my 27 speed for the climb up the bridge.
    Anyone else remember and used this bike shuttle service?

  29. 20 May 2019

    Charles said:

    Where is our Mayor in all this – the silence is deafening.

  30. 20 May 2019

    Kevin Bosch said:

    I cannot fathom the current hatred for cyclists within NZTA, it is untimely baked into their culture. They are hell bent on delaying this process so that they can “Get it right first time”. They are burning cash which would be relocated to them designing a tunnel (their pet project). Then you get AT and Auckland Council in the mix with their different views it is it is like watching the three stooges. All they do is spending money opposing each other’s views and nothing gets done other that burning their budget year after year.

    It has been 23 years since the first detailed scoping study came out way back in 1996.. and we have had study after study with the only outcome as stalemates in search of “the get it write the first time” ideology.

    I will be there just like I was last time, this time with the “Get Across Cycling Jersey” which is about 8 years old now.
    Keep up the great work Any and Bevan.

  31. 20 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    Thanks Kevin, look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

  32. 20 May 2019

    John said:

    FYI – Here is the official comment from Police which came out today:

    Police are aware of plans for a protest march, organised by SkyPath Trust, across the Harbour Bridge on Sunday May 26th.

    Any pedestrian access across the Harbour Bridge requires the approval from the NZ Transport Agency.

    Police have been in discussions with NZTA and to date no approval has been given for this event.

    Without the relevant authorisation, any pedestrian crossing of the Harbour Bridge is unlawful.

    Anyone who does walk, march or cycle as indicated, without prior approval, will be doing so unlawfully, while also posing serious safety risks to themselves, the public and other motorists.

    The priority for Police is to ensure the safety of the public and road users.

    Should an attempt be made to unlawfully cross the bridge at any time, Police will have no alternative but to take appropriate action.

  33. 20 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    Thanks John, we had a good chat with the Police about this on Friday. They understand our frustration with NZTA, and we understand they have an important job to do. You’ll see we are advising the public to only march on the Auckland Harbour Bridge if Police can provide safe access. It’s still important for the SkyPath Rally to go ahead because whether or not we get to march on the Bridge, we’ll be letting NZTA know need to hear we don’t accept their inaction on SkyPath.

  34. 20 May 2019

    John Cherrington said:

    Happy to cycle.

  35. 21 May 2019

    Matt said:

    NZTA is a ‘vehicular supremacist’ organisation! Their attitudes and actions are similar to other supremacists.

  36. 21 May 2019

    Bevan Woodward said:

    That’s a strong statement but after having worked with NZTA/Transit for 15 years I get where you’re coming from.

  37. 21 May 2019

    Paul Ryan said:

    Thx for your reply Bevan. Is there any substance to the suggestion ive heard, that it’s structurally dangerous to add Skypath onto the bridge?

  38. 24 May 2019

    Ian Parkes said:

    Understand why you cancelled the protest. We have to give NZTA the benefit of the doubt but a show of pent-up frustration may still be needed, We’ve seen pretty pictures before, but never any actual start dates. Still not convinced we won’t hear later that “business case says no”.

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