Improving walking and cycling connections
As our towns grow, it’s also important that our transport network can cater for the additional vehicles, as well as people walking and cycling.
When we asked the community about your vision for “the places that you play”, you also told us that having safe walkways and cycleways to get around our towns is important to you. We have incorporated that feedback into both our 30 year Infrastructure Strategy (which helps us plan for our roading networks and infrastructure), and our draft Parks and Open Spaces Strategy (which guides how parks, tracks and other open spaces will be developed and managed).
What's in the draft budget – improving walking and cycling connections
We agree that better walking and cycling connections will help to make our towns a great place to live and visit.
It also makes sense when we’ve invested in cycleways to get people to our towns, that we need to make them easy to bike and walk around. We think over the next few years we should prioritise:
- Completing the work we have already started to create ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ walkways around Matamata, connecting the existing walkways. We are planning to spend $425,000 in 2021/22 and $379,000 in 2024/25 to complete this work.
- Completing the work we have already started to link parks and walkways in Morrinsville. We are planning to spend $278,000 in 2022/23 and $346,000 in 2024/25 to complete this work.
- Focusing on widening existing footpaths within our towns to create shared pathways for safe walking and cycling. This will be completed as part of our footpath renewals programme, which costs on average $226,000 per year, with 51% of the funding coming from Waka Kotahi (NZTA).
- Building a shared pathway from Matamata to Waharoa in 2021/22, costing $700,000.
What will it cost?
This would cost $4.4 million including inflation. $1.15 million of this would be funded by Waka Kotahi subsidies.
|Rates impact Average per year||2021/22 - 2030/31|
|$550,000 urban property||$3.08|
|$8 million rural property||$44.85|
|Debt impact - Increase of $3.2 million by 2030/31 including inflation|
Another option - slow but steady
We could take a “slow but steady” approach to improving connectivity, and spread out the projects we’ve prioritised by a period of three years. This would also mean pushing out future walkway projects. This would have a lesser impact on rates, and mean that the connectivity is still improved – just over a longer time period.
What would this option cost?
This would cost $3.2 million including inflation and $836,000 would be funded by Waka Kotahi subsidies.
|Rates impact Average per year||2024/25 - 2030/31|
|$550,000 urban property||$2.78|
|$8 million rural property||$40.38|
|Debt impact - increase of $2.4 million by 2030/31 including inflation|
Creating shared pathways for cyclists and walkers is also about making our roads safer for all road users.
For more information on our priorities for road safety over the next 30 years, check out the Infrastructure Strategy.
Another option - don't do it
Walkways and cycleways provide opportunities for people to get outdoors, and can provide safe routes for people to get to work or school.
They’re important, and help make a community a great place to live or visit, but they’re not essential.
If you would prefer Council to focus on keeping rates low, we could stop working on improving connectivity in existing areas, and make it a requirement for future development – this would mean any new subdivisions would have good walking and cycling connections, but the rest of town wouldn’t.
If this is the preference of the community, we’d also need to change our priorities in the Parks and Open Spaces Strategy.
What would this option cost?
If we didn’t proceed, this would avoid the costs, rates and debt impact that have been included in the draft budget.