On yer bike, John

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 pm, May 31st, 2010 - 11 comments
Categories: cycleway - Tags:

So, just 10km of cycleway has been constructed in the 15 months since John Key announced it as a panacea for the recession.

The budget for the 2000km national cycleway (affectionately known as the John Key Memorial Cycleway), which was going to run the length of the country and host an international cycle race called the Sir Edmund Hillary Explorator, was $50 million. That’s $25,000 a kilometre. In reality building just 10km has cost $600,000.

At this rate, the thing will take 250 years to build and cost $120 million. And I don’t think we’ll be hosting any international races on gravel tracks.

The Standard ran a guest post half an hour after the announcement of the cycleway pointing out how silly and under-budgeted the concept was. It’s nice the rest of the media is finally catching up.

Last year, Key repeatedly boasted that he would take Phil Goff on a ride on his cycleway. I’d like to see Goff take Key up on his offer. They’d be done in half an hour.

Key’s flagship policy was always a joke and, now, everyone’s laughing. Come next year, voters are going to look at this record and say ‘on yer bike, John’.

11 comments on “On yer bike, John”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “Last year, Key repeatedly boasted that he would take Phil Goff on a ride on his cycleway. I’d like to see Goff take Key up on his offer. They’d be done in half an hour.”

    Sounds like the basis for a nice fluff piece for Goff in the lead up to the election.

    “Spurred on by Key’s jabs back in 2009, I’ve taken up the challenge to ride the National Cycleway he directed $50m worth of public spending towards. It took me just under an hour to complete.”

    Labour could even be cheeky and have as part of their campaign to properly fund and finish the cycleway faster than the Nats will…

  2. SHG 2

    Come next year, voters are going to look at this record and say ‘on yer bike, John’.

    Not if his current “preferred PM” poll numbers are any indication they won’t. John Key is a phenomenally popular PM, and Kiwis are not going to vote for a party led by Phil Goff.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Helen Clark was still preferred PM when Labour was voted out and she was still low in the polls when Labour were voted in in 1999.

  3. SHG 3

    Of course, Labour’s hopes always turn back to Helen Clark. Is Goff outpolling her yet?

  4. Croc 4

    And I don’t think we’ll be hosting any international races on gravel tracks.

    Uhhh, when was the last time you saw a bicycle? They have this great invention now called suspension. It takes out most of the bumps and makes off-road cycling much more enjoyable.

    New Zealand already runs a large number of international off-road races.

    There has even been mountain biking world champs since 1990: http://www.uci.ch/templates/UCI/UCI5/layout.asp?MenuId=MTI1OTU&LangId=1

    Perhaps this will help you get up to speed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_biking
    http://www.vorb.org.nz/

    • Bright Red 4.1

      See you at the start of the Sir Ed Explorator then, croc.

      You can’t race on a cycleway, they’re too narrow for a kick off.

      • Jim Nald 4.1.1

        Sorry. Wrong!
        The Key cycleway is spectacularly unique.
        It is wide enough to spin the facts and outrace the truth,
        your belief will be subject to incredible suspension.
        And you can see through blind corners.

  5. Monty 5

    I have had a litle to do with some major projects. The most amount of time is spent in the planning and getting the appropriate consents. I und=erstand from the news that 7 cycleways are in advanced stages of planning or construction has started, and there are another 13 under consideration. These cycleways will bring economic growth to the areas that are fortunate enough to have a cycleway. I am not sure about the 4000 jobs – but the economic benefits will be substantial and that can only be a good thing.

  6. zonk 6

    TVone ran a story about how only 70 jobs had been created from the program so far.

  7. RedLogix 7

    I’m thinking Key committed to this cycleway project early in his term as PM while still fired up about all the possibilities of his new role. I doubt he would make the same mistake today.

    But having got his fingerprints all over it he should have made far more effort to see it off properly.

    In the long run it may turn out ok, the projects in the pipeline will get underway and some genuinely valuable assets will be built…but the cycleway project as a whole will never match the rhetoric Key has attached to it; at least with the present level of resource it has.

  8. Maggie 8

    I see no evidence Key learns from his mistakes. He never admits to having made any.

    Previous poll results regarding PM popularity are not relevant here. Key is National, National is Key. They are joined at the hip, having come up together they will now start sinking together.

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