Boost for Whanganui cycle projects from Urban Cycleway Programme

Cycling in Whanganui is set to become safer, easier and more enjoyable following today’s announcement that the Government is investing more than $1m into two major cycleways.

The Wanganui District Council and NZ Transport Agency are together welcoming the funding, which will enable construction of Te Tuaiwi (The Spine) and City to North Mole shared pathways to begin over the next two years.

“The announcement of cycleway funding is tremendous news for Whanganui,” Mayor Annette Main said.

“While the announcement follows our civil emergency, Whanganui is now in recovery mode. Projects like these ones will improve our community and provide safe cycling in a way that will be much better than before.

“The Somme Parade shared pathway constructed several years ago has been a major success, attracting an amazing number of users to the facility. I look forward to these two projects being built and encouraging many more people to use active transport in Whanganui.”

Transport Agency Central Regional Director Raewyn Bleakley says the projects will provide better connected facilities, give workers and school students a safe and healthy alternative, and also help to get cars off the road, which will improve traffic flow, particularly during busy peak times.

“With 80% of its population living within 4km of the CBD, Whanganui has real potential for cycling to take off. It’s exciting that we’ll see work underway so soon on two projects that are set to help make cycling a more attractive choice for the local community.

“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

Te Tuaiwi (“The Spine”) Shared Pathway

This project will provide a new, separated 2.3km cycleway that will link two existing cycleways, providing safer access to the inner city area, as well as several schools including Collegiate School, Wanganui Intermediate School and Wanganui City College. This will provide a safer route for these students, as well as around 4,300 workers in the city centre.

The cycleway will provide a comfortable link for students to cycle to school, avoiding busy intersections, driveways and parking spaces. It will also provide safe access for people to cycle to the city centre for work and shopping. The cycleway is expected to attract around 1,000 people each day.

Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2015 and be completed by mid-2018.

City to North Mole Shared Pathway

This separated cycleway will provide a 5km route through the Heads Road area which has around 4,500 employees. It provides a riverside link to the city centre for the 11,000 residents of Gonville, Tawhero and Castlecliff, and is the final section of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail.

This project provides a safer off-road route for people to cycle to work in the Heads Road area, and for residents to cycle to the city centre. The connection offers an attractive commuting option and will revitalise and improve the liveability of the city. The cycleway is also a key component of the National Great Rides ‘Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail’, and will attract new users to the riverside offroad facility. The cycleway is expected to attract around 800 people each day.

Construction is anticipated to begin in mid-2017 and be completed by mid-2018.