Christchurch cycleways get $750,000 boost

SEGREGATED: The cycleway along Matai St West, in Riccarton, is separated from traffic.

SEGREGATED: The cycleway along Matai St West, in Riccarton, is separated from traffic.

The cash-strapped Christchurch City Council is getting $750,000 from the Government to help pay for two of the city's planned cycleways.

The cycleways are being funded as part of the Government's Urban Cycleways Programme, in which $100 million will be invested on expanding and improving New Zealand's cycling network over the next four years.

The fund allocates $500,000 toward the 400-metre Matai St East section of the Uni-Cycle route. The work will also enable improvements to be made to the Fendalton Rd, Harper Rd and Deans Ave intersection as well as a signalled cycle crossing of Deans Ave at Matai St.

The New Zealand Land Transport Fund (NZLTF) is contributing $550,000, leaving $550,000 for the council to complete the project.

The Papanui Parallel has also been allocated funds, with $250,000 going toward a section passing through Rutland Reserve. A shared pedestrian and cycle path will link Grassmere Rd to Rutland St. NZLTF is allocating $250,000, leaving $250,000 for the council to find.

Council infrastructure, transport and environment committee chairman Phil Clearwater said the sections selected for funding were parts of routes the council confirmed this week as being the first priority to be built.

"[The] announcement is a welcome endorsement by the Government of our approach to improving travel options in our city," Clearwater said. "It gives the Council and the many people who have supported the Major Cycle Routes network confidence to push ahead with these projects."

The council is planning to build 13 major cycleways across the city over the next five years.

It originally thought it could build the cycleways for just over $68m but latest cost estimates suggest the project will cost at least double that and possibly as much as $156m. The council also received, through the Urban Cycleways Programme, $300,000 toward the cost of a cycleway between Rolleston and Lincoln.

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 - The Press

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