New Zealand will spend $333 million on urban cycleway projects over the next three years, after a joint announcement by Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Simon Bridges.
NZ Transport Agency chief executive Geoff Dangerfield said the money would help establish cycling as an integral part of the NZ transport network.
Cycling was now the fastest growing mode of transport in several New Zealand cities and towns, and making urban cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice had been established as a key priority for the agency, Mr Dangerfield said.
“We’re delighted with the significant increase in cycling investment announced today. Getting more New Zealanders cycling will relieve congestion during peak travel times, connect people with a greater range of employment, education and social opportunities and contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future for our transport network. Put simply, cycling is good for our cities, it’s good for the environment and it’s good for our health,” he said.
Mr Dangerfield said the Transport Agency would work closely with local authorities to accelerate the building of urban cycling networks across the country.
“We’re also working to improve safety, and perceptions of safety, for cyclists. This includes safer networks in all main urban centres, improving attitudes towards cycling, and building mutual respect between cyclists and other road users. The recommendations from the recent New Zealand Cycling Safety Panel report are at the core of this work program.
“The Urban Cycleways Program is designed to take full advantage of all available funding sources, including the National Land Transport Fund and local government funding, to enable high-quality projects to get underway much sooner than may otherwise have been the case.”
The total investment in cycling in New Zealand over the next three years was anticipated to be between $380 million and $400 million to produce more than 250km of new urban cycleways and better network connections.