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New Plan To Encourage Cycling In Manukau

New Plan To Encourage Cycling In Manukau

Cyclists will soon be able to bike safely on purpose-built routes right across Manukau. A cycleway network is being developed by Manukau City Council over the next five years at a cost of $5 million.

The new Cycle and Walking Strategy is part of the broadening of transport options that will include better bus, train and ferry services.

The first cycle route, from the airport to Mangere, is expected to open in 2 years.

The Council is putting $1.2 million into the project and Infrastructure Auckland $4 million. Infrastructure Auckland has just been disbanned and the funding decision was one of the last announced during its final funding round.

The cycleways will cover 40 kilometres over 7 routes, three quarters on the actual roads and the others running alongside.

Although most households in Manukau have bikes few journeys are currently made by bike. There's a variety of reasons but the main one is lack of safety, and it is hoped that will be overcome by the new cycleways.

The routes will be clearly marked and signposted. Council officials believe the network will lead to a big jump in the number of cycle journeys, rising to one million per year after 20 years.

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says cycleways are a great idea. "The vital thing is to make them safe for people. "Cycling is healthy, costs nothing and doesn't pollute. Manukau is perfect for cycling because it's flat and virtually every family household has a bike. I think it's a shame that people riding bikes are a rarity these days, whereas in the past many people rode bikes instead of taking a car.

"Even children these days don't often use a bike - they get dropped off everywhere by car.

"But that change is understandable given that there are so many vehicles on the roads now. Roads are unsafe and potentially threatening but this new network of cycling routes we are developing will change that.

"I would like to thank Infrastructure Auckland for the funding which has made the network possible. Without that decision this cycling initiative wouldn't have happened."

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