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Nga Haerenga (New Zealand Cycleway) Takes Shape

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Nga Haerenga (New Zealand Cycleway) Takes Shape

New Zealanders will soon be able to access some of our most picturesque countryside on their bikes with today's addition of thirteen more rides to the next funding round, the Green Party said today.

"The Greens welcome the addition of another thirteen high quality rides to Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand cycleway, and will now be pushing for a network of quiet, back-country cycle routes to get you there," said Green Party cycling spokesperson, Kevin Hague.

The Green Party is working jointly with the Government to realise a shared vision for a national cycle network. The Government recognises the Green Party's particular expertise in active modes of transport, especially cycling.

"The long-term vision for this project is for a network of cycling routes and tracks throughout the country that can be used by tourists, recreational riders, people riding to work or the supermarket, and kids riding to school," said Mr Hague.

"This funding round focuses on great rides that imitate the success of the Otago Central Rail Trail model."

"There were many terrific proposals and it would be great to fund them all. We hope that in the future many more of these can also form part of the network.

"The Prime Minister and I have previously acknowledged that links into and around towns and cities will need to be part of the network. While none of these are in this round, I'm confident they will be in the future. These links also have the potential to add thousands of additional kilometres and substantial benefits to Nga Haerenga with relatively little extra cost," Mr Hague said.

The Cycle Trail project has a highly successful precedent overseas. The UK National Cycle Network (SUSTRANS) was started with seed funding of 43 million in 1995. The Network now consists of over 10,000 miles of signed cycle routes carrying 386 million journeys in 2008. That usage realised 270 million in health savings and offered potential carbon emissions savings of 493,000 tonnes.

"For every 1 spent on the UK's cycle network, they're now realising up to 18-40 in benefits, particularly where the cycleway runs through urban areas."

"For the many worthy projects that didn't quite make the cut, I'm hoping local councils and trusts will reconsider their contributions to continue the momentum of the Cycle Trail project," added Mr Hague.

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