Cyclists Applaud Massive Investment Programme.
Kiwis keen on cycling have hailed the biggest single investment in cycling in New Zealand’s history, announced today in Rotorua. Advocates for cycling have praised the scheme as ‘forward-thinking, clever groundwork’.
The Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP), managed by the NZTA, facilitates a record $333m million in spending for 54 selected urban cycling projects nationwide. $100 million of this is from the UCP, the remainder from Land Transport and local authority budgets. Councils throughout the country have drawn up detailed bids for the funding, which were assessed by an NZTA-led Investment Panel. Cycleways in cities from Whangarei to Dunedin will be built under the plan.
Cycling Advocates’ Network (CAN) were quick to commend UCP as ‘smart investment’. CAN interim project manager Will Andrews told press, ‘This is awesome. It’s forward-thinking, clever groundwork by the Prime Minister and Simon Bridges. It will boost the liveability of every town it touches by helping people choose not to use the car for short trips.’
The hard work for local councils now begins, in confirming their portion of projects’ budgets, getting the detailed design right, and convincing local voters of the many benefits and spin-off gains that flow from people swapping their car for a bike for certain journeys.
‘Let’s hope this awesome announcement will be accompanied by rapid training of engineers in cycleway design, and by education of all road users in how to share space’, Andrews continued. ‘There will still be many streets where cyclists share with motor vehicles, so it’s important to keep improving the environment -especially in CBDs- with low speed limits and good junction design. But this is a tremendous initial step and a day to celebrate for anyone who wants congestion-free liveable NZ towns.’
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