Significant boost for cycling in the Hutt
The announcement of $20 million from the government’s Urban Cycleways Fund for cycling and walking networks across Wellington is a game-changer for cycling in the Hutt, says National List MP based in the Hutt Valley, Chris Bishop.
“Walking and cycling is a big part of the Hutt Valley’s future. Since 2006 the number of people commuting by bike in Wellington has doubled. Cycling has large health benefits, reduces vehicle emissions and pollution, and helps ease congestion on our roads.
“The government’s Urban Cycleways Fund, announced during the 2014 election campaign and something which I’ve championed, recognises that cycling is becoming increasingly popular, and government has an important role in partnering with local communities to accelerate the roll-out of cycleways in urban areas,” says Mr Bishop.
The Hutt was one of the first to benefit from the Urban Cycleways Fund, with funding for the Wainui Hill shared pathway announced in January, having been brought forward many years.
The government’s $20 million contribution from the Urban Cycleways Fund has helped to generate an overall package of investments of $53.3 million in Wellington.
The Hutt will benefit from a large number of projects announced today, including
- Melling to CBD – this12km high quality cycleway will connect Melling in Lower Hutt to Bunny St in Wellington Central. This is a key corridor between the Hutt Valley and Wellington’s CBD. This cycle route will connect to existing Hutt City and Wellington City walking and cycling networks and will also link Hutt residents to their workplaces and educational facilities both in Hutt City and Wellington central. Construction is anticipated to start in 2016. The total project cost is estimated to be $19 million, with $9 million from the Urban Cycleway Fund, $6 million from the National Land Transport Fund, and $4 million from the Hutt Council.
- “The Beltway” project – this will extend the current shared path on the valley floor up to Taita and into a return loop to run down High Street and Cambridge Terrace and through the rail corridor to Waiwhetu, providing a 16 km continuous, predominantly off-road loop. The Beltway will ultimately link to the Wainuiomata Hill and Eastern Bays Shared Pathways and form an improved section of the Rimutaka Cycle Trail through the city. Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2016 and be completed by June 2018. The project is expected to attract over 1,000 people each day. The total project cost is estimated to be $3.5 million, with $1.17 million from the Urban Cycleway Fund, $1.19 million from the National Land Transport Fund and $1.14 million from the Hutt Council..
- Eastern Bays Shared Path –this important project has also been allocated funding, linking existing pathways from Lowry Bay to York Bay. Construction will begin in 2016. The path will be constructed in conjunction with seawalls in the same location, at a total estimated project cost of $4 million.
- Rail Corridor Route (Upper Hutt) -this 6.52km off-road shared path between the Upper Hutt CBD and Silverstream will link the urban area north of Upper Hutt with a number of schools, shopping centres and major employment areas. The project is expected to attract over 250 people each day. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2015 and be completed by late 2017. The total project cost is estimated to be $2.88 million, with $960,000 from the Urban Cycleway Fund, $980,000 from the National Land Transport Fund and $940,000 from the Upper Hutt Council..
- Seal and Widening Hutt River Trail (Upper Hutt) -improvements will be made to a 16km off-road shared path along the length of the Hutt Valley. This direct route is the primary off-road link between the Upper and Lower Hutt Valley, and forms part of the Rimutaka Rail Trail. It also provides access to the CBD, a number of schools and the Whakatiki Street industrial and commercial area. The project is expected to attract around 350 people each day. Construction is anticipated to begin in mid-2016 and be completed by mid-2018. The total project cost is estimated to be $2.18 million, with $540,000 from the Urban Cycleway Fund, $840,000 from the National Land Transport Fund and $800,000 from the Upper Hutt Council.
“The Ngauranga to Petone section of the Melling to CBD cycleway is currently being developed, with an announcement of the preferred route due later in the year, and construction due to start in 2019. A recent NZTA study had nearly 800 submission in favour of the cycleway, with only three people opposing the project,” says Mr Bishop.
“Cycling is increasingly popular in the Hutt. The Council has recognised this, as have residents, through the city’s Long Term Plan. It’s great that the government can come to the party and further accelerate these important projects for our city,” says Mr Bishop.