Cycling in Whangarei will become easier, safer and more fun with $4.81 million going into developing cycling routes in the District.
The Government and Whangarei District Council have announced an additional combined $4.81 million investment from the Urban Cycleways Fund and the NZ Transport Agency’s National Land Transport Fund. That means that over the next three years a total of about $7 million will be spent constructing the new 6.5km Kamo route as well as completing the allready budgetted Onerahi and Raumanga routes.
Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai said the extra funding from the NZ Transport Agency and Government was to be celebrated.
“We have made good progress in our District, with up to 7000 people a week using the Hatea Loop at peak times in summer, the Raumanga track almost completed, and work on the route to Onerahi about to kick off again.
“The evidence shows that when facilities are provided our people get out there and use them. We have an active mind-set and live in a pretty friendly climate, so we stand to get enormous benefit from these initiatives.”
The funding is part of a nationwide Urban Cycleways Programme which will see $296 million invested across 41 projects in 15 urban areas over the next three years to establish cycling as an integral part of the New Zealand transport network.
“Cycling is a key priority for the agency. Getting more New Zealanders cycling will connect people with a greater range of employment, education and social opportunities and contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future for our transport network,” says the Transport Agency’s Northland Regional Director Ernst Zöllner.
The Urban Cycleways Programme is designed to take full advantage of all available funding sources, including the National Land Transport Fund and local government, to enable high-quality projects to get underway much sooner than may otherwise have been the case.
The NZ Transport Agency anticipates the total investment in cycling in New Zealand over the next three years will be around $380 million to $400 million, delivering more than 250km of new urban cycleways and greater network connectivity.
To find out more about the Urban Cycleways Programme you can visit the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) website.
Urban Cycleways Programme (NZTA Website) Opens in a new window.
This 6.5km off-road route will provide safer access to most of the schools in Whangarei, and will follow the existing railway corridor that runs north/south through the area.
It will also provide a connection for residential areas north of the city through to the Whangarei CBD, the Auckland University Campus, and off-road links to key recreational areas such as Kensington Park.
The Kamo route will complete the three primary routes of the Whangarei cycleway network. Working in partnership with Bike Northland and ‘Bikes in Schools’, this key infrastructure will encourage more children to cycle to school by providing safe access for over 5,200 students who attend schools within 500m of the new facility. The route will separate cyclists from high-volume traffic and reduce pressure on State Highway 1 by providing an alternative off-road transport choice. This cycleway is expected to attract over 600 people a day. Construction should start in early 2016 and be completed by mid-2018.