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Christchurch City Council’s cycle-friendly commitment recognised at national cycling awards

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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:

Supreme Award

  • Christchurch City Council Uni-Cycle Major Cycle Route; Christchurch City Council, Aurecon, Isaacs Limited, JFC City Care Joint Venture, and WSP Opus.

Bikes at Work and School Award

  • Joint Category Winner – Bikes in Schools Tairāwhiti; Tairāwhiti Connext Charitable Trust
  • Joint Category Winner – Tauranga City Council E-Bike Initiative; Tauranga City Council

Built Excellence Award

  • Category Winner – Christchurch City Council Uni-Cycle Major Cycle Route; Christchurch City Council, Velos Partnership (Opus & Aurecon), JFC City Care Joint Venture, Isaacs Limited
  • Highly Commended – Junior Road Safety Park – Palmerston North; Palmerston North City Council, Pascal Street Community Trust

Outstanding Contribution to a Bike-Friendly Future Award

  • Category Winner – Alastair Smith
  • Highly Commended – The Kennett Brothers (Jonathan, Simon and Paul Kennett)

Revolutionary Award

  • Category Winner – Biketober Christchurch 2017; Cycling in Christchurch, Spokes Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, ViaStrada Limited
  • Highly Commended – Tour Aotearoa 2018; Kennett Brothers, MaProgress

Taking Communities on the Journey Award

  • Category Winner – Kawatiri River Trail; Buller Cycling Club, Buller District Council, Department of Conservation

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

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