Cycling in Gisborne is set to become safer, easier and more enjoyable following today’s announcement that the Government is investing $1.3 million from the Urban Cycleways Fund into a major extension of the Wainui Cycleway.
The NZ Transport Agency and Gisborne District Council are together welcoming the funding, which will enable construction on the cycleway extension to begin as soon as next year.
The project is a joint effort from the NZ Transport Agency and Gisborne District Council through their joint delivery unit Tairawhiti Roads. It will provide more than 10km of cycleways to extend the existing facility from Wainui through Kaiti and into Gisborne’s CBD. The project also includes a separated cycle facility over Gladstone Bridge.
It will connect with employment areas and schools in the CBD and provide local road links to schools in the area adjacent to the route.
Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon says, “This great news for our walking and cycling community. Local advocates for this safe and convenient infrastructure have worked hard with Gisborne District Council and Transport Agency staff to make this happen.
“We are a flat terrain city, which makes cycling and walking accessible for a wide range of people, and the extension of the Wainui Cycleway will make cycling even easier.
“I look forward to blessing this safe route when construction begins next year.”
Mr Foon says the cycleway extension will offer a more comfortable cycling route for students, with over 3000 living within 500m of the facility, including those travelling from Kaiti to the high schools in the city. It will encourage more students to travel by bike and will also encourage more residents to cycle to work and for recreational and short utility trips. This cycleway is expected to attract over 800 users each day.
Transport Agency Central Regional Director Raewyn Bleakley says the project will provide safer and better connected facilities for people cycling to the Gisborne CBD, separating the public from heavy commercial vehicles along the main corridor into town. It will also help to get cars off the road, which will improve traffic flow, particularly during busy peak times.
“The Wainui cycleway has been a real success story for Gisborne, and we’re delighted that it’s now going to be extended even further to help make cycling a safe, practical and healthy choice for the people of Gisborne.”
“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.”
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 website www.nzta.govt.nz/UCP(external link).