Council welcomes cycleways funding

Press Release – Christchurch City Council

Christchurch City Council says a grant from a new Government fund for cycling infrastructure is a strong vote of support for its Major Cycle Routes (MCR) network. Transport Minster Simon Bridges today announced the first round of funding from the Governments …Council welcomes cycleways funding
Christchurch City Council says a grant from a new Government fund for cycling infrastructure is a strong vote of support for its Major Cycle Routes (MCR) network.

Transport Minster Simon Bridges today announced the first round of funding from the Government’s Urban Cycleway Fund, including an allocation for sections of two Major Cycle Routes to be built this year.

The fund allocates $500,000 towards the 400 metre Matai Street East section of the Uni-Cycle route. The work will also see improvements made to the Fendalton Road, Harper Road and Deans Avenue intersection as well as a signalised Cycle Crossing of Deans Ave at Matai St. The New Zealand Land Transport Fund (NZLTF) is contributing $550,000, leaving $550,000 for the Council to complete the project.

The Papanui Parallel has also been allocated funds, with $250,000 going towards a section passing through Rutland Reserve. A shared pedestrian and cycle path will link Grassmere Road to Rutland Street. NZLTF is allocating $250,000, leaving $250,000 for the Council.

Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee Chairman Phil Clearwater says the sections selected for funding were parts of routes the Council confirmed yesterday as being the first priority to be built.

“Today’s announcement is a welcome endorsement by the Government of our approach to improving travel options in our city.

“It gives the Council and the many people who have supported the Major Cycle Routes network confidence to push ahead with these projects. It also provides some assurance that there are funding avenues available for the programme that recognise the wider benefits of increased cycling rates. It makes it clear that the full investment in the routes does not have to be met by local ratepayers.”

Mr Clearwater says the Council yesterday agreed the first four routes to be built as well as adopting in principle a detailed design guide to show how the 13 routes will be built to provide a facility that will lead to more people cycling by providing a much improved level of safety.

“As we heard yesterday, we have learned a lot about the type of facility needed to meet the standard to achieve our goal and this will have an impact on the cost. We are trying to balance the need to push on and build these much-needed facilities as well as manage our financial situation. We have asked staff to provide more information on the costs and benefits so we can consider that and include it for discussion with the community during development of the Long Term Plan 2015-25.

The first four routes the Council will build are:

· Uni-Cycle: The link from Canterbury University to the Central City through Hagley Park.
· Papanui Parallel: Connecting Northlands and the Northern Rail Route to the Central City.
· Quarryman’s Trail: The link between Halswell, Hoon Hay and Somerfield to the Southern Lights route which connects the southern suburbs around Beckenham to the Central City.
· Rapanui Shag Rock Cycleway: From the Coastal Pathway at Ferrymead to the Central City.
The Council will begin consultation on some further routes in coming weeks.

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