Cycling in Dunedin will be safer and easier as a result of today’s announcement by the Prime Minister that it’s investing $3 million from the Urban Cycleways Fund into cycling projects in the city between now and 2018.
The Urban Cycleways Programme will see $296 million invested across 41 projects in 15 urban centres cities over the next three years will help to establish cycling as an integral part of New Zealand’s transport network.
The NZ Transport Agency and Dunedin City Council have welcomed the funding which takes the investment through the Urban Cycleways Programme in Dunedin in the next three years to $9.24 million and will help establish cycling as an integral part of the city’s transport network.
The NZ Transport Agency’s Acting Regional Director Southern Mark Yaxley, says this is a significant investment in cycling in Dunedin that will develop a number of cycleway projects across the city.
“With a 20 per cent increase in cyclist journeys since 2011, cycling has become a transport mode of choice for a growing number of people and this programme will help us ensure Dunedin is a place where people can feel safe riding a bike.”
The focus for the next three years will be on high quality cycle facilities along State Highway 1, further development of the Harbour Circuit including the completion of the State Highway 88 shared path and the Portobello Road shared path.
“Cycling is a key priority for the Transport Agency. Getting more New Zealanders cycling will connect people with a greater range of employment, education and social opportunities and a more environmentally sustainable future for our transport network”.
DCC Infrastructure Services Committee Chair Cr Kate Wilson says, “We congratulate the Government for providing a substantial contribution to Dunedin’s cycleway development.
“Cycling in Dunedin contributes to improving transport options, providing a more efficient and integrated transport network, improving health, economic and social outcomes and city liveability.”
Two priorities are providing city cycleways to link to harbour routes and reducing conflict with the eastern freight bypass.
The Council included some indicative funding for cycleways when it consulted with the community through its Long Term Plan process. Cr Wilson says priorities for and development of further cycleways in Dunedin will be considered in terms of what has been learnt from the rollout of the South Dunedin Cycle Network.
Cr Wilson says, “Our growing cycle networks aren’t just for the hard-core cyclists you see out on the roads today, they’re for the many people who have told us they would like to cycle to their everyday activities, but currently don’t feel safe doing so.
“Having more people cycling will help make the roads less congested at peak traffic hours, meaning a safer environment for pedestrians and motorists too.”
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 advance high-quality much sooner than may otherwise have been the case.
The 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 over 250km of new urban cycleways and greater network connectivity.
To find out more about the Urban Cycleways Programme please go to www.nzta.govt.nz/UCP(external link).