Christchurch Long Term Plan – More Waiting?

Christchurch City Council has our Long Term Plan, LTP, up for submissions. It covers all aspects of our city and its needs. This article focuses on cycling.

Council is going to need to hear from a lot of us that cycling infrastructure needs to be a priority. With limited funds there are going to be many calling for dropping cycling infrastructure. Submissions are due no later than Friday 13 April. It would be nice if that Friday the thirteenth were remembered fondly.

Where constructed the Council’s Major Cycle Routes, MCR’s, have exceeded expectations for numbers of people using them. Counts have found some commute routes with 7% to 10% on bicycles. Completing the MCR’s and the local network to hook them up will see these figures rise.

The proposed Long Term Plan, LTP, will push the delivery schedule out from the original 5 years to 14 years. It’s not an anti-cycling response; the city is in bad financial shape.

Prioritizing the building of cycle infrastructure can save money. That central government has stepped up by covering up to 66% of the costs makes it all the more sensible to do it now.

Council is trying to rebuild our broken city without the financial base required. People are unhappy with the slow pace of recovery, broken roads, lack of services ever increasing rates. Yet, that appears to be the ‘new normal’ for Christchurch.

There will be little or no funding for preparing or responding to future quakes, flooding or other disasters, climate change, upgrades to sewage treatment or further development of the Otakaro/Avon river corridor and other projects which might make Christchurch a unique place to live and to visit.

Meanwhile debt levels and rates will rise. Rates will increase at least 5.72% in 2018/9. Council optimistically, unrealistically (?), projects a lessening of increases to around 4.5% annually, but also acknowledges that not all known expenses are included or other expenses foreseeable. Building the stadium, for instance, would require an additional 5.88% rates increase just on its own.

Christchurch needs to cut back. The question is where? What can be cut back with the least pain? Roading for cars is a major capital expense. Shifting people onto bike and buses can cut costs significantly, with short and long term savings in both road building and road maintenance.

Cycling is being embraced by cities the world over as key to reducing congestion, lowering roading infrastructure costs and improving the quality of urban living. Council’s response to the financial challenges facing it should be to embrace and fund cycling and the education, promotion campaigns to help us all adapt.

When people understand that the business as usual approach of driving means their rates go from $3,000 a year now to $5,232 a year by 2028 and $15,916 by 2048, or more, they may choose to cycle.

Please let Council know that you appreciate the cycle infrastructure efforts they have made. Be polite, Councillors are under enough stress with the difficult challenges we all face.


The Easy As LTP submission

Just tell your story of why you like and use cycling infrastructure. Make it personal; share your joys and the close calls which haunt us all. Ask to make an oral submission, too. It helps for Councillors to see our faces.

Include your name, address, email, phone

And email to

Read more on this at

Some points to consider:
• Express your appreciation for the Major Cycleways
• Expand & accelerate delivery of all the Major Cycle Routes and the Local Cycle Network
• Include funding for Travel Demand Management, TDM, Education and Promotion, motivate the police to prioritize enforcement
• Make well designed cycling infrastructure a standard part of all transport projects as is currently done with footpaths
• Bring cycle infrastructure design in house while designating Cycle Champions on staff and reinstating an empowered Cycle Advisory Panel of cycling stakeholders
• Include and fund cycle parking everywhere it is needed, businesses, bus stops, etc.
• Include completion of the Coastal Path link from Monck’s Spur to Shag Rock
• Include designation of the outer lanes on Memorial as bus and bike lanes
• Fund the cycle path behind the hospital shown on the Hagley Park Spatial Plan
• Oppose Otakaro and Regenerate’s projects for their neglect of the needs of people who cycle and the shortcomings of the Accessible City Plan, Transport Chapter


A more in depth look at and submission on the LTP

For those with the time and desire to read all about it and go from there.

Council’s sites
This link provides links to the draft LTP, Service Plans and underlying documents:  – This is the formal consultation page. Use this link to make your submission or email to

2 thoughts on “Christchurch Long Term Plan – More Waiting?”

    1. Completing CCC’s form can be a bit daunting, especially for those who want to comment on cycling only. Council does prefer the form, but will also take email submissions.

      It would be great if everyone filled out all the boxes on all the topics and even added comments on aspects the Council has not prioritized.

      The easy as Sub is for those who don’t have the time, or perhaps the interest, and want to support cycling.

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