Greens add expertise and vision to Cycleway


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July 27, 2009 Greens Press Release

Greens add expertise and vision to Cycleway project

The National Cycleway is an inspired project which the Green Party are very happy to be involved in and I appreciate being able to work with the Prime Minister to get the most from it, said Green Party Cycling spokesperson Kevin Hague today.

"The Cycleway will, over time, become a key piece of infrastructure delivering benefits well in excess of its costs. And building a network of different kinds of cycling experiences that can be used in their own right or joined together to build (eventually) a length of New Zealand ride is precisely the way to implement this project," said Mr Hague.

The network model for the Cycleway has a highly successful precedent overseas. The UK National Cycle Network (SUSTRANS) was started with seed funding of 43 million in 1995. The Network now consists of over 10,000 miles of signed cycle routes carrying 386 million journeys in 2008. That usage realised 270 million in health savings and offered potential carbon emissions savings of 493,000 tonnes. "For every 1 spent on the UK's cycle network, they're now realising up to 18-40 in benefits, particularly where the cycleway runs through urban areas."

"It's inevitable that the focus for the Cycleway has fallen on its potential for tourism...but the project will also bring massive health, recreation, community development, and environmental benefits as well. We're pleased to see this reflected in the vision for the Cycleway," said Mr Hague.

The Cycleway has captured the imaginations of cyclists, cycling groups, and local Government officials alike. This enthusiasm is underlined by recent data showing that sales of new bicycles in New Zealand have now begun to outpace the sales of new cars. "If current trends in bicycle sales continue, the Cycleway is likely to be the catalyst around which develops a wide culture of cycling here in New Zealand."

"We are about to see the development of a network of presently under-utilised public assets transformed into useable scenic transport corridors. This is the kind of major public work that will benefit both the economy through job creation and increased tourism and the environment through creating low carbon ways to travel - a Green New Deal solution to the current recession," Mr Hague concluded.

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