Christchurch City Council’s Uni-Cycle Major Cycle Route received the top honour at the annual Bike to the Future Awards in Palmerston North last night.
The Bike to the Future Awards are organised by the NZ Transport Agency and Cycling Action Network (CAN). They acknowledge New Zealand’s most innovative cycling projects and celebrate the people who are making cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice.
Six winners were selected from a pool of over 60 nominations. Christchurch City Council’s Uni-Cycle Major Cycle Route was named the Supreme Winner and also took out the Built Excellence Award.
The five other winners were: Bikes in Schools Tairāwhiti for the largest roll-out of the programme in the country, resulting in more than 4,000 students getting on their bikes; Tauranga City Council’s E-Bike initiative which set an example for other workplaces on how to increase staff cycling to work; Christchurch’s 2017 Biketober for its celebration of cycling; Buller Cycling Club, for their transformation of the Westport community’s attitude to cycling through their Kawatiri River Trail project, and to Alastair Smith who has dedicated 40 years of advocacy to transform Wellington into a more cycle-friendly city.
“The quality of this year’s nominations is testament to the value New Zealanders are putting on cycling, as both a fun activity and a means of transport,” says CAN Board Chair, Claire Sherrington.
“Congratulations to all of the incredible people up and down our country who are working tirelessly to get even more Kiwis on bikes.”
The judges said the Uni-Cycle Major Cycle Route is an exemplar project and a deserving winner of the Supreme Award. The 5.6-kilometre cycleway, delivered by Christchurch City Council with funding from the NZ Transport Agency and Government through the Urban Cycleways Programme, opened in September 2017. The route runs between Christchurch central city and the University of Canterbury through Hagley Park, Riccarton Bush and the Ilam Fields, making it safer and easier for people to cycle into the city.
The complex project required extensive stakeholder engagement throughout the construction process to accommodate the needs of a university, and two large high schools, whilst also maintaining the residential character of the areas the route passes through, and a rail crossing.
Since opening, the cycleway has seen a usage increase of 49% to over 1,400 users per day, well above initial projections.
NZ Transport Agency Senior Manager System Design, Kevin Reid says the awards are part of the Government’s wider commitment to encourage more Kiwis to embrace more sustainable transport options, including cycling.
“We want to encourage more people to cycle as an everyday transport option. More people on bikes means more efficient movement in urban centres, reduced emissions, improved public health and fitness and, most importantly, more liveable cities.”
“All of the projects and people we have honoured this evening are part of driving this change, and the awards are an opportunity to celebrate all of their hard work.”
The results were announced at an awards dinner held as part of the 2WALKandCYCLE Conference. The conference, held in Palmerston North, started on 30 July and features both local and international speakers.
In addition to the six category winners, a further three projects were highly commended.
The award recipients were:
The awards were judged by:
Pippa Coom – Chair of the Waitematā Local Board, Auckland Council and transport portfolio lead
Richard Leggat - Chair of the New Zealand Cycle Trail, Chair of the Cycling Safety Panel, and Board Member of Cycling New Zealand
Simon Douglas - National Manager Policy & Research, and cycling spokesperson for the New Zealand Automobile Association