Christchurch Council Backs Call For NZ E-Bike Subsidy

Christchurch, NZ

Christchurch City Council has become the first local government to publicly back demands for the NZ Government to introduce a subsidy to purchase e-bikes, similar to its $8,625 incentive to buy a new electric car.

A Christchurch council meeting last month voted to support the demand, presented by School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) protesters when they occupied the council’s headquarters for several hours earlier this year.

The council will write to NZ’s Transport Minister Michael Wood to support the proposal, according to a report in NZ publication, The Press.

Christchurch council last week revealed it faced a $25 million (A$23.29 million) for the construction of four planned major cycle routes, because of inflation, delays, unexpected ground conditions and interfaces with rail infrastructure.

“Since the projects base estimates were established, a number of other factors have driven increased costs. These include KiwiRail interfaces, project delays, contaminated material discovery and increased infrastructure renewals due to poor conditions,” according to a report to Christchurch City Councillors last month and due to be considered at a meeting this week.

The cycleway projects – South Express, Nor’West Arc, Northern Line and Heathcote Express – received funding from the Government’s ‘Shovel Ready’ program in early 2020, to accelerate projects and reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Shovel Ready submissions were made based on the best information to hand at the time and were often based on current budgets in the long-term plan without scheme and detailed designs having been completed. There was no time for risk assessments to be completed,” the report says.

An independent quantity surveyor is reviewing remaining work on the routes to gain more confidence in the amount required to complete the projects.

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