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Cycleway work begins

BY RHIANNON HORRELL
Last updated 05:00 25/11/2009

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Bike riders will get to pedal further now that work is under way to complete a cycleway route that runs alongside State Highway 16.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has started the construction on the 1.2km strip, which runs between Bond St and Myrtle St in Kingsland.

The route will add to an existing 12km cycleway from Newton Rd in central Auckland to Te Atatu Rd in west Auckland.

Agency state highways manager for Auckland and Northland Tommy Parker hopes the northwestern link will attract more cyclists to the area, with around 500 people using it each day.

A year ago the organisation conducted a strategic study of various cycleways.

"This one came to the top of the pile," he says.

"There will be some disruption to the community but as always we will do our best to be good neighbours."

Cycle Action Auckland representative Barbara Cuthbert says she is thrilled to see the progress.

"We’ve seen a huge depletion in cycling projects with budgets cut."

She praised Mr Parker for his efforts and labelled him a "cycling pin-up boy".

Cycleway access points will be created at Nixon Park, Kingsland Ave, School Rd, Finch St, Mountain View Rd and Myrtle St.

The $3 million project, expected to be completed early next year, will see fences and noise walls replaced and native planting in the area.

Council regional transport committee chairwoman Christine Rose says the work is a symbolic link which builds confidence.

"For any cyclist mixing with traffic is scary – you need psychological armour plating."

She says walking and cycling are easy, natural and sustainable forms of transport in the face of increasing congestion and obesity.

The agency is investigating plans to extend the cycleway towards Auckland University and improvements will be made between Waterview and Rosebank Peninsula as part of motorway widening.

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