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$100 million for urban cycleways

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister of Transport

18 August 2014 Media Statement

$100 million for urban cycleways

Prime Minister John Key has today announced $100 million in new funding will be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says an Urban Cycleway Investment Panel will investigate opportunities to invest in urban cycleways that would expand and improve the cycling network.

Mr Brownlee says National recognises that commuting by bike has health benefits and takes pressure off other transport networks, but says cycleways in our largest centres are fragmented and offer varied levels of service.

“This funding builds on significant investments the government is already making, with projects in Hastings and New Plymouth showcasing how cycling can be a safer, more reliable and realistic transport option.

“Many people cite safety concerns and a lack of infrastructure as reasons for not cycling, so we’re going to begin building cycleways to a standard that delivers real incentives for commuters to make a change.

“Building more comprehensive cycling networks will require new infrastructure to connect existing routes and expand the network into wider urban areas.

“And as these connections will be a mix of local roads and State highways, we’ll need a strategic approach and collaboration at central and local government level.

“Some councils are well advanced in planning and constructing local cycleways, and we want to ensure we do what we can to complement them and make them capable of being used by the widest number of people possible.

“This funding package also strongly complements other aspects of the government’s ambitious transport infrastructure programme, which is designed to ensure people and freight can reach their destinations quickly and safely,” Mr Brownlee says.

The Urban Cycleway Investment Panel will include representatives from central government, local government and other organisations. Draft terms of reference for the panel will be presented to Cabinet by 31 October 2014.

Questions and Answers

What is the urban cycleways announcement?

The urban cycleways announcement comprises two main parts:

1. An extra investment of $100 million over the next four years, dedicated to urban cycling infrastructure.

2. An Urban Cycling Investment Panel, consisting of representatives from central government, local government and other organisations, will investigate opportunities to invest in urban cycleways that would expand and improve the cycling network.

What is the Urban Cycleway Investment Panel?

The government will establish a panel consisting of representatives of central government, local government and other organisations. Draft Terms of Reference for the group will be presented to Cabinet before 31 October 2014.

Where is the money coming from?

The $100 million will be allocated from the Crown’s Consolidated Fund, and divided between capital and operational expenditure. The expenditure is estimated to be spread over the next four years as follows:

Expenditure profile year by year ($m)

How are you ensuring these projects are value for money?

An investment strategy will be approved by Cabinet. This will ensure projects are good quality and ‘investment ready’ before construction starts.

What will this mean for local government?

The Urban Cycleway Investment Panel will include a representative of local government, and the $100 million Crown investment will be able to be spent on local roads – which are managed by local government – as well as State highways.

How does this align with other transport projects?

The government invests in all modes of transport, with the aim of ensuring people and freight can reach their destinations quickly and safely.

This programme builds on the significant investments government is already making in cycling, including through the model communities in Hastings and New Plymouth, the Government Policy Statement on land transport, and alongside other roading projects including the Roads of National Significance.

How much money is available now for cycleway developments?

In addition to this funding for urban cycleways, up to $30 million is available from the National Land Transport Fund for walking and cycling projects in the 2014/15 financial year. This investment will be complemented by funding from local government.

Over the last three years the National Land Transport Programme has provided around $80 million for dedicated walking and cycling facilities, and an additional $80 million of investment which has delivered significant cycling benefits, including cycle lanes on new highways, road safety initiatives, wider shoulders and better marking on local roads.

Aside from the $100 million announced today, is there any other future funding available for cycleway developments?

The draft Government Policy Statement on land transport 2015/16-2024/25 (the draft GPS 2015) proposes up to $103 million be available for walking and cycling projects (including cycleways) over the next three years. This investment will be complemented with funding from local government, and is in addition to this urban cycleways funding.

There will also be further funding through the National Land Transport Fund for cycling facilities which are built as part as new and improved State highways and local roads.

The draft GPS 2015 increases the annual maximum available funding for walking and cycling projects by 3.5 per cent per annum (compared to 1.9 per cent under GPS 2012). This reflects opportunities to provide more options for active modes of transport.

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