Cycle Trail Tour Routes Open
The first three touring routes of the Nga Haeranga New Zealand Cycle Trail will open on August 20 with cycle tours planned in Central North Island.
Green Party MP and avid cyclist Kevin Hague said the trail, a joint initiative between the Green Party and the Government, was a great start to what will be a national cycle network.
“The long-term vision for this project is for a network of cycling routes and tracks throughout the country that can be used by tourists, recreational riders, people riding to work or the supermarket, and kids riding to school,” said Mr Hague.
The West Coast-based MP will participate in the opening celebrations by joining an organised ride between Taumarunui and New Plymouth on the Forgotten World Highway on the weekend of August 20-21.
It will be the first tour as part of a series to open the New Zealand Cycle Trail.
The Cycle Trail project has a highly successful precedent overseas.
The UK National Cycle Network (SUSTRANS) was started with seed funding of £43 million in 1995. The Network now consists of over 10,000 miles of signed cycle routes carrying 386 million journeys in 2008. That usage realised £270 million in health savings and offered potential carbon emissions savings of 493,000 tonnes.
“For every £1 spent on the UK’s cycle network, they’re now realising up to £18-£40 in benefits, particularly where the cycleway runs through urban areas,” said Mr Hague.
“For the many worthy projects that didn’t quite make the cut, I’m hoping local councils and trusts will reconsider their contributions to continue the momentum of the Cycle Trail project.”