In the Electorate

Thursday, July 23, 2015

News of accelerated funding for Waimakariri’s two major cycleway projects is great for our communities.

The two projects will link Rangiora to Woodend, and Rangiora to Kaiapoi.

I facilitated a meeting in May between Transport Minister Hon Simon Bridges, Waimakariri District Mayor David Ayers and Waimakariri District Council CEO Jim Palmer, where the cycleway proposal was discussed as part of a range of traffic issues specific to Waimakariri. Initially, Waimakariri was not being considered under the criteria. Waimakariri is unusual in that it has two main towns – and connecting them is important. There aren’t too many districts like ours and the Minister agreed that Waimakariri should be looked at. He was very impressed with the strong case that was put forward.

The Rangiora to Woodend cycleway will comprise 6.5 kilometres of shared pathway that will connect Woodend residents to Rangiora schools, workplaces and shops, and will also provide a connection for recreational riders to the Woodend to Woodend Beach path. The eight kilometre Rangiora to Kaiapoi shared path will provide separation for cyclists from high-speed, high volume traffic by creating a safe connection between Rangiora and Kaiapoi – and is expected to attract 200 people each day.

These cycleways will appeal to our whole community – from mums and dads wanting to cycle to work, the shops and home, to students wanting to cycle safely to school, to recreational cyclists and even our tourism operators, who will see the potential of this as a major driver to bring tourist spend to our region.

Transport for our region needs to be looked at as part of a whole transport system that also includes a fast and reliable bus network that has the potential to feed into any future light rail option.  Our cycleways  will compliment this integrated transport system approach.