The latest section of Auckland’s expanding cycling and walking network – the Upper Queen Street Grafton Gully and Beach Road link – was officially opened today by the Prime Minister John Key.
The Prime Minister was joined at the ribbon cutting ceremony by the Mayor of Auckland Len Brown, elders from Ngati Whātua Ōrākei, and Cycle Action Auckland.
Mr Brown describes the link to better connect the existing Northwestern cycleway with central Auckland and the waterfront as “a huge advance for cyclists” in Auckland.
“I look forward to further progress towards developing a great cycling city with other projects such as the Westhaven Promenade and the Northcote Cycle Route that will integrate cycling with other modes of transport across Auckland.”
The NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport collaborated on the link’s three sections to give people better access. The Council is responsible for a shared pathway for cyclists and walkers on Upper Queen Street, the Transport Agency constructed the 1.9 kilometre-long Grafton Gully section, and a 630 metre-long protected cycleway separated from traffic has been developed by Auckland Transport along Beach Road.
The Transport Agency’s Regional Director for Auckland, Ernst Zöllner, says while Grafton Gully has been its main cycling priority, the Transport Agency is upgrading several sections of the Northwestern cycleway and provides funds for Council and Auckland Transport cycling and walking projects to give people more travel options.
“Working together as one, we can construct world class cycling infrastructure for Auckland that is safe and efficient, increases the popularity of cycling, and helps take the pressure off congestion,” Mr Zöllner says.
The combined 2.7 kilometre-long link is the latest section of a network that will eventually provide nearly 1000 kms of cycling routes across the city.
The Beach Road cycleway is a vital part of that network, says Auckland Transport’s chairman, Dr Lester Levy.
“It’s the last essential link for cyclists travelling west to the Waitemata Harbour. Improvements to Beach Road also address safety concerns for people on bikes travelling along a very busy inner city road.”
Dr Levy says the entire link is a credit to all three organisations involved in its construction – a view shared by Cycle Action Auckland.
“The city’s residents are calling for safe, connected cycleways, like this, to deliver real transport choice,” says its spokesperson Barbara Cuthbert. “Cycle Action congratulates Auckland Council, the Transport Agency and Auckland Transport for the collaboration that has closed such a major gap in the cycling network and brought this ground breaking project to life.”
The total cost of all three projects is almost $19.5m (Transport Agency $15.4m, Auckland Transport $3.15m, Auckland Council $900,000). The Transport Agency plans to construct a link to the two universities between Grafton Gully and Symonds Street near Whittaker Place, and Auckland Transport will further extend the Beach Road cycleway to Britomart Place and Quay Street on the waterfront.
More information about the link is available on the following web sites:
For further information contact:
Auckland/Northland Media Manager,
NZ Transport Agency
M: +64 27 2137616
M: +64 21 817995