Walking advocates say the new transport budget is good news for safer roads and footpaths.
The Government released the finalised Government Policy Statement (GPS) on transport funding this week. It allocates up to $1.1 billion for new cycling and walking projects, up to $4.8 billion for rapid transit, and up to $8 billion for public transport over the next ten years. For the first time, central Government will subsidise footpath maintenance at the same rate that local road maintenance is funded.
Living Streets Aotearoa President Andy Smith says there’s a significant emphasis on safety and accessibility that will be good for people on foot.
“Living Streets Aotearoa has lobbied hard for footpaths to be considered as part of the complete transport network. Whether it’s shoppers to shops, passengers to buses and trains or children to schools, footpaths and crossings are the arteries we need for people on foot – the economic lifeblood of our towns and cities.”
“Local Councils are welcoming the new funding assistance rate for footpaths and we will encourage them to do more maintenance to reduce slips and falls for the elderly, reduce barriers to walking to school and to make streets accessible for all users. Walking is healthy, cost-effective and completely inclusive” says Andy Smith.
Living Streets Aotearoa presented awards to walking initiative finalists and winners at the Golden Foot Awards, hosted by Minister Julie Anne Genter this week.