SkyPath is a proposed cyclist/pedestrian pathway across the Auckland Harbour Bridge. It has been designed as a clip-on beneath the eastern CBD side of the bridge. On the south side there will be multiple entry/exit points at the end of Curran St, Shelley Beach Road and the western side of the bridge at Westhaven. At Northcote Point entry/exit points have been designed to try to ameliorate the impact of traffic and SkyPath facilities on the immediate residential neighbourhood. Longer term a “SeaPath” is proposed to link SkyPath to Shoal Bay and Takapuna.
SkyPath is a private project under the auspices of the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway Trust. The Wellington-based Public Infrastructure Partnership Fund (the PIP Fund) has agreed to fund the project, and Auckland Council confirmed its commitment to SkyPath at a public meeting in July 2016, agreeing to underwrite the project. After 25 years SkyPath will come under council ownership.
SMBA informed the Waitemata ward councillor (Mike Lee) and other interested persons of its position on SkyPath, ahead of that Council meeting. In summary, it was:
- SMBA supports pedestrian and cycle access across the Auckland Harbour Bridge in principle, but believes there are real concerns about the viability of the existing SkyPath proposal that need to be resolved. Most, if not all, of the technical concerns are likely to be resolved, one way or the other, in the course of NZTA’s consideration of SkyPath’s application for a licence to use the bridge.
- The concerns expressed by Herne Bay Residents’ Association and Northcote Residents’ Association about Council’s legal ability to fund SkyPath (as a public private partnership) are properly matters for Council against a backdrop of oversight of its exercise of its statutory responsibilities by the Auditor-General.
Essentially, the future of the project now lies in the hands of NZTA – as far as the SMBA is aware NZTA is still assessing the project and planning to make its decision whether to grant SkyPath a licence to use the harbour bridge at the end of this year, or early 2017.
For further information see http://www.skypath.org.nz