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Published on : Friday, June 26, 2015
New Plymouth’s reputation as one of the country’s best places to cycle is set to blossom even further, following the Government’s announcement that two New Plymouth cycleways are set to benefit from the Urban Cycleway Programme.
New Plymouth District Council and the NZ Transport Agency are together welcoming the funding, which will enable the cycle lanes along Coronation Avenue (in the Highlands Intermediate School area) to be improved, and for the Mangati Pathway to be constructed. Construction will now begin as soon as next year.
New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd says the two projects will continue the great work by Let’s Go, the Transport Agency and schools to increase active transport among students, which is currently at 69 per cent.
“We’re encouraging a habit of active transport that will benefit the students throughout their lives, and also benefit the district by reducing the number of vehicles on our roads in the long-term,” says the Mayor.
“The great thing is that when we improve facilities for students, we’re improving them for everyone in the district. People of all ages will benefit from these two projects, whether they’re cycling for recreation or to get to work or school,” says the Mayor.
Transport Agency Central Regional Director Raewyn Bleakley says the improvements will provide better connected facilities, give workers and school students a safe and healthy transport choice, and also help to get cars off the road to improve traffic flow during busy times.
“New Plymouth is widely regarded as one of the leading cities to get around on bike or on foot. A few years ago we selected New Plymouth as one of New Zealand’s first Model Communities for cycling, and the way the community has stepped up has been inspiring. The new Mangati Pathway and improvements to Coronation Avenue will ensure cycling continues to go from strength to strength.
“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.