New cycle of Government funding for Nelson Tasman bike trails

A cyclist bikes along the Tasman Great Taste Trail, past a vineyard near the Appleby overbridge.
Marion van Dijk

A cyclist bikes along the Tasman Great Taste Trail, past a vineyard near the Appleby overbridge.

Wheels have been set in motion for a funding boost to enhance cycle trails in the Nelson-Tasman region.

The Government is investing $837,132 across cycle trails nationwide, in its fifth round of its Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund.

The Tasman Great Taste Trail has been allocated $96,800 of the funding, while Nelson's Dun Mountain Trail will get $69,000.

Nelson Tasman Cycle Trail Trust Chair Gillian Wratt said any funding received for the upkeep of the trails is significant.

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She said the funding allocated to the Tasman Great Taste Trail would pay for work done to reopen Spooners Tunnel.

"We reopened [the historic railway tunnel] it for cycling and walking access in April, but we found a crack that was widening," said Wratt.

She said the tunnel had since been strengthened and reopened, and the Government funding would cover the cost.

"For the Dun Mountain Trail, the funding will be aimed at improving the quality of the trail," she said.

As a Great Ride, Wratt said it's important the trail is rideable and delivers a good experience, and the funding would be used for enhancements including planting, as well as general upkeep.

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Tourism Minister John Key said in a statement, "the New Zealand Cycle Trail network continues to grow in popularity among both Kiwis and international visitors, with more than a million people visiting the 22 Great Rides last year."

Key said it's important cycle trails are kept at a high standard, as they help New Zealand regions benefit from the growth in the tourism sector.

He said keeping the trails up to scratch helps visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience.

"An evaluation released in October estimated that the Great Rides had produced $37.4 million in economic benefits in 2015 alone, through revenue from visitor spending," Key said.



 - Stuff

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