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Council listening to report's concerns

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/06/2016

The new report calls for an urgent review of the cycleway and for the council to work with NZTA to recommission its WIDER Cycleway plan for the city. © Getty Images The new report calls for an urgent review of the cycleway and for the council to work with NZTA to recommission its WIDER Cycleway plan for the city. Wellington City Council admits it's got some work to do following a report critical of its handling of the city's cycleway projects.

An independent report commissioned by the New Zealand Transport Authority found the council had fallen short in a number of areas in the way it had gone about setting up the controversial Island Bay cycleway.

Critics have argued the cycleway makes the road too narrow for buses, dangerous for some residents to pull out of their driveways and has caused problems with access to a medical centre.

Even cycling advocacy groups called for more public consultation and it has been the subject of backlash, including nails being scattered along it.

The new report calls for an urgent review of the cycleway and for the council to work with NZTA to recommission its WIDER Cycleway plan for the city.

It said community perception about lack of engagement and design choices had hurt the council's abilities to deliver further projects.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the council had taken away lessons from the report about considering public feedback.

"We have learnt that we need to develop more options for cycle routes, with all their pros and cons, and listen more carefully to our communities," she said.

The appointment of a new chief city planner overseeing the cycle programme would also help improve the situation, she said.

"We have learned lessons from Island Bay and made progress through our consultation and decision making on the Hutt Road and eastern suburbs cycleway proposals with broader input from all sections of the community."

Committee chair and councillor Andy Foster said new cycleways were a significant challenge for cities around the world.

"We are already doing things better in conjunction with the community and I look forward to working with central government on a more collaborative approach to cycleway design," he said.

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