Joint Greens-Govt national on-road cycle trail launches
August 19, 2011
Joint Greens-Govt national on-road cycle trail launches this weekend
The first on-road leg of the New Zealand Cycle Trail opens this weekend, running from Taumarunui to New Plymouth on the Forgotten Highway taking cyclists through some of the North Island’s most spectacular scenery.
Green Party MP and avid cyclist Kevin Hague will join cycling champion Sarah Ulmer and Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown in celebrating its opening by riding the 180 kilometre route from Taumarunui to New Plymouth.
Mr Hague said the new on-road route would give a glimpse of what’s going to be rolled out all around the country as a part of the $50 million Nga Haerenga, New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT) project.
“This weekend’s launch gives New Zealanders a first glimpse of what our Cycle Trail network will eventually look like, with outstanding backcountry road rides joining our network of Great Rides off road and integrating with the urban cycling infrastructure in places like New Plymouth,” said Mr Hague.
“It's exciting and a powerful message about the importance of cycling in New Zealand.”
Mr Hague said the Cycle Trail network is not only good for people and the planet but it also makes great economic sense.
“These new Cycle Trail routes will bring huge economic benefits to Taumarunui, New Plymouth and beyond, adding resilience to their local economies,” said Mr Hague.
“The cost-to-benefit equation of these kinds of small investments in sustainable infrastructure is very favourable.”
Mr Hague said the long-term vision for the project was for a network of cycling routes and tracks throughout the country that could be used by tourists, recreational riders, people riding to work or the supermarket, and kids riding to school.
“This is a boom time for cyclists and the high standards set by the NZCT for on-road trails will enhance the safety of cyclists.
“We’re looking forward to all regions being able to have their great local road rides included in the New Zealand Cycle Trail,” Mr Hague said.