Cycling plays an important role in the way many people choose to travel to work. Cyclists already use local roads or dedicated cycleways to ride between the Wellington central business district and suburbs such as Khandallah, Karori, Newtown and Miramar.
For those travelling between the Hutt Valley and Wellington, their only direct route uses State Highway 2, either in between the traffic lanes and the railway line when heading south towards Wellington or on the shoulder of the road heading north to Petone.
An off-road cycling facility does separate cyclists from highway traffic on the southbound side of SH2, however, this facility is narrow and extends only between Horokiwi and Ngauranga. It is also not suitable for cyclists travelling in both directions, leaving northbound cyclists to use a limit area at the edge of the road.
The current cycleway is 4.6km long, extending between Petone and the Ngauranga Gorge intersection with Hutt Road. It offers a clearly identified cycling facility on the southward side of the highway (heading to Wellington) with a dedicated path that separates cyclists from the fast moving highway traffic on State Highway 2 with a wire rope median barrier.
From Petone, there is a 750m section of cycleway that is not separated by a barrier. On the northern side of the highway (heading to Lower Hutt) cyclists use the edge of the road as there is no cyclist-specific area available.
A number of improvements have been made for cyclists on SH2 between Petone and Ngauranga, including cyclist activated signs to highlight to motorists that a cyclist is ahead (particularly at on- and off-ramp locations), a wire-rope barrier on the separate section of cycle path between Horokiwi and Ngauranga, and safer connections to the Esplanade and Hutt Road at Petone.
With 400–500 cyclists using the Ngauranga to Petone corridor on weekdays (of whom about 40% either come from or go to a location north of Petone and 60% exit or enter at the Esplanade) there is a definite demand for better cycling facilities along the SH2 corridor.