Council thwarting cost-effective bike hire option

Auckland’s main bike hire operator provides a valuable and cost effective transport service which Auckland City Council should support, said Green Party Auckland Transport spokesperson Keith Locke today.

Nextbike is being forced to cull its fleet to comply with a city council resource consent about where bicycles can be parked.

“It is absurd that Auckland City is forcing Nextbike to reduce the number of bikes available,” said Mr Locke. “Fewer bikes means fewer options for people getting around Auckland.

“The real problem here is not too many bikes, but a shortage of bicycle racks. Providing bicycle parking facilities is a core responsibility of Auckland City Council, and a simple cost-effective alternative to providing for more cars.”

Racks that support two bicycles each cost the Council $1500 and have a minimal maintenance cost. They help to achieve the Council’s goal of increasing cycling and they reduce congestion, noise and pollution in the city centre.

In contrast, Auckland City has set aside millions of dollars in its Annual Plan to upgrade the public Civic Square car park, which has over 500 parking spaces.

There are an estimated 100 public bicycle parks in the Auckland CBD, compared with tens of thousands of car parks.

“A big increase in the number of public bicycle racks will save the city and the community millions in parking, road maintenance and congestion costs.

“The Council is undercutting its own cycling strategy by stomping on an innovative, community-supported business,” said Mr Locke. “Similar cities around the world such as Brisbane are actively investing millions of dollars in cycling initiatives, including bike share schemes.

“Auckland City should be supporting this initiative, which costs next to nothing, and helps make the city more liveable and vibrant.”

For more information:

Keith Locke MP, 021 593 399

Julie Genter, Political & Media Advisor, 04 817 6767

A link to Auckland City’s Draft Annual Plan 2010-2011