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Hastings wins $4m to be New Zealand Walking model

Hastings wins $4m to be New Zealand Walking and Cycling Model

Hastings will be making walking and cycling “simply irresistible” after winning a national bid to be a New Zealand Transport Agency walking and cycling model community.

Hastings and New Plymouth went up against 22 other cities to win the bid and Hastings will get $4.1m - $3.57m to invest in walking and cycling infrastructure and $518,000 for education. The cities will then be “how to” models for the rest of New Zealand.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule, who led the team which presented the bid to the selection panel last month, says not only is this a fantastic result for Hastings but it shows our commitment to making Hastings the cycling and walking capital of New Zealand.

“We went up against 22 other New Zealand cities and we won – it’s a huge win for Hastings,” Mayor Yule says.

“This follows in the footsteps of Council’s sustainability drive and will make Hastings an even better place to live, work and play.

“This is a great move from the New Zealand Transport Agency. Instead of spreading money across the country they are making a significant investment in our walking and cycling networks, so we can show the rest of New Zealand how it’s done.

Hastings District Council worked closely with a number of agencies and community groups to make the bid a success.

“Staff and our partners worked extremely hard on this visionary project and as a result we’ve been successful,” Mayor Yule says.

Paul McArdle from Bike On NZ, who helped build bike tracks at St Mary's School in Hastings, says everybody wins when more people are walking and cycling.

"There will be less traffic congestion, people will be healthier and Hawke’s Bay businesses will benefit from more cycling tourism."

"I have been extremely impressed by the dedication shown by HDC staff in winning this funding and the leadership shown by Mayor Lawrence Yule and Deputy Mayor Cynthia Bowers," Mr McArdle says.

"This is a fantastic boost for everyone in Hastings District."

Initiatives coming out of the project include:

• Working with Hastings employers to encourage staff to walk and cycle to work.
• Improving facilities for people cycling into the CBD, to bus stops, to work and school.
• Encouraging young people to learn to ride safely to school.
• Promoting safe cycling routes.
• Improving road networks for cycle safety.

For more information on the Hastings Walking and Cycling Model Communities bid visit:

Making Walking and Cycling Irresistible Presentation:
http://www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/files/all/documents/walking/model/Making-Walking-and-Cycling-Irresistible-Presentation.pdf

Our proposal at a glance:
http://www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/files/all/documents/walking/model/Our-Proposal-at-a-glance.pdf

Full copies of the bid are available on request.


ENDS

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