25 Jun 2015

Cycleway projects announced

9:25 pm on 25 June 2015

The Government will help fund 41 new urban cycleway projects, aimed at making cycling safer and a more attractive to New Zealanders.

Kathmandu cycling

Photo: Supplied

The projects will cost $296 million, receiving funds from the Urban Cycleway Fund, the National Land Transport Fund and local government.

With 13 other projects announced earlier this year at a cost of $37 million, a total of $333 million is going towards cycleways over the next three years.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said it was the single biggest investment in cycling in New Zealand's history.

"The Government's $100 million Urban Cycleways Fund has helped generate an overall investment of $333 million in cycling, getting world-class projects underway much sooner than may otherwise have been the case."

The projects announced today will draw on the remaining $90 million from the $100-million Urban Cycleways Fund, announced by the government last year.

More than $100 million is coming from the National Land Transport Fund, which had funds set aside for walking and cycling improvements, and $99 million is from local government.

Fifteen centres will benefit from the cash injection, with most projects in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, but provincial centres will receive more than $87 million.

The projects were selected by the Urban Cycleways Investment Panel, after receiving 59 applications for potential funding.

Subject to receiving approval, the projects were expected to be substantially completed by July 2018.

Chief executive of the Transport Agency chief executive Geoff Dangerfield said cycling was now the fastest growing mode of transport in several New Zealand cities and towns.

"Getting more New Zealanders cycling will relieve congestion during peak travel times, connect people with a greater range of employment, education and social opportunities and contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future for our transport network," he said.

"Put simply, cycling is good for our cities, it's good for the environment and it's good for our health."

Cycleway projects to be accelerated

Cycleway projects to be accelerated Photo: SUPPLIED

Bike-riding campaigners in Whangarei are elated over plans for a new cycleway in the city.

Cycling advocate Paul Doherty said the funding was excellent news for cyclists, and the environment.

He said Whangarei's new loop track around the marina had shown that people were keen to bike, when it was safe to do so.

"We've just seen a massive uptake of people walking and cycling in that Town Basin area," he said.

"It's safe, it's attractive and it's social. The more we can add credibility to the mode of cycling the better it is for urban living."

Mr Doherty said the Kamo to Whangarei cycleway would make biking a safe option for hundreds of school children and workers.

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