Cycleways 'save money long-term'

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Last updated 10:11 14/05/2013

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Cycling advocates backing plans to spend nearly $70 million of ratepayers' money on a new cycleway network for Christchurch say it will save the city money in the long-term.

Spokes Canterbury spokeswoman Chrys Horn told city councillors this morning that cities that had built extensive cycleway networks had found they needed to spend less on expensive roading.

"A few per cent difference in the number of people using bikes and active transport has had quite a major effect on cities like Portland, Oregon, in terms of how much they have to spend on roading,'' Horn pointed out.

"It doesn't take many people getting out of their cars onto their bicycles to make a difference.''

Horn was making a submission on the council's draft Three Year Plan (TYP), which includes a proposal to spend nearly $70m on a network of new cycleways across the city and a new $2m walkway around Lyttelton Harbour.

The council is proposing to fund the new network by imposing a $20 uniform annual general charge on all ratepayers.

Horn said the proposed $20 charge was a "steal''.

"People are going to recoup that money (through lower petrol costs) when they use the network.''

Horn said ideally the cycleway network would be completed in three years rather than five, and she would be happy to see work on the proposed rugby stadium delayed in order for that to happen.

Spokes Canterbury presented the council with a 1716-signature petition backing their plans for a new cycleway network.

PROPOSED CYCLEWAYS

- The 13 cycleways proposed for Christchurch and their costs:

- The University of Canterbury route, which runs from the university to the central city. Cost: $1.9 million.

- The Grassmere Route, from the Northlands Shopping Centre to the central city. Cost: $3m.

- The Little River route, from the city through to the start of the Little River Rail Trail. Cost: $2.7m.

- The northern rail route, which extends and upgrades the northern and southern sections of the off-road rail pathway from Factory Rd in Belfast, with a link into South Hagley Park, to the central city. Cost: $6.7m.

- The Avon River route, which connects New Brighton to the central city by the river corridor. Cost: $4.2m. The Sumner to city route. Cost: $6.7m.

- The western orbital route, which tracks around the suburbs from Hoon Hay through Middleton, Upper Riccarton, Bryndwr and Papanui. Cost: $8.6m.

- The Hornby rail route, which runs from Templeton to Addington and connects with the northern railway route at Hagley Park. Cost: $12.6m.

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- The Halswell to city route, which follows Halswell and Lincoln roads to South Hagley Park. Cost: $4.2m.

- The Heathcote River-Heritage Trail route, which follows the river to Ferrymead. Cost: $3m.

- The south to city route, which runs along the foot of the Port Hills and links with the Heathcote River route. Cost: $2.9m.

- The Heathcote Rail Route, which primarily uses the rail corridor to travel through Woolston, Opawa, Waltham and Sydenham into the city centre. Cost: $7.8m.

- The Christchurch International Airport route, which provides a link to the airport and its wider employment and business areas. Cost: $4.3m.  

- The Press

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