$3 million has been set aside by the Government to help cement Nelson’s reputation as one of the best cities in the country for cycling.
The Government has today announced that the Nelson Coastal Route is set to benefit from the Urban Cycleway Programme.
Nelson City Council and the NZ Transport Agency are together welcoming the funding, which will help accelerate the Nelson Coastal Route which will provide a popular and useful link between Nelson City, along the state highway corridor, to Tahunanui and the airport.
The route and type of cycleway along with staging, costs and funding will be informed by wider network planning in Nelson over the next 12–18 months.
The Nelson Mayor, Rachel Reese, says Council’s successful partnership with the Transport Agency is a great opportunity to leverage for additional funding.
“This funding is not available to be used towards any other transport initiatives – it is specifically to be set aside for cycling.”
“Our success in securing this contestable funding is testament to Council’s ability to compete on a national level.
“This money wouldn’t be coming into our region otherwise, so it really is a great result and a further example of how we can put Nelson on the cycling map,” she says.
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 improve traffic flow by reducing the number of cars on the road during busy times.
“Nelson is quite simply one of the best places in the country to get around on bike or on foot, and we’ve seen the community continue to flock to cycling as a popular way to travel. Together with Nelson City Council, we have an opportunity to provide a cycle and pedestrian facility along the waterfront and through to Tahunanui that will be a real asset to the city and its people.”
“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).