News | 18 June 2018

Funding approved for bike network projects

More of Wellington City’s cycle network will be under way in the next few months following confirmation that the Government will fund the eastern suburbs cycling projects that the Council has recently approved.

Map showing existing, approved and future cycle routes in Wellington's eastern suburbs.

For more than two years – with the backing of the previous and new Government – the Council has been working with the NZ Transport Agency and the community to plan and begin making changes that will make travelling by bike a safer and easier option.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says receiving Business Case Approval for $24.3 million of work in the east is an important milestone in the city’s plan to develop a connected citywide cycle network.

“The Government wants improvements that can be used by people of all ages and abilities, which fits perfectly with our aim to make Wellington an even more people-friendly, attractive and sustainable city,” he says.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to work in partnership with NZTA, the Government, and local communities over coming years, so we can make other parts of the network a reality.”

Councillor Sarah Free, the Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking, Cycling and Public Transport says confirmation of the Government funding ($15.3 million) represents real progress and is a big win for the city’s commuters.

“It will meet approximately two-thirds of the cost of the projects we have in the pipeline, including the planned new two-way bike path around Evans Bay, and the improvements already under way on Cobham Drive.  

“It will also help us improve the congested section of pathway between Freyberg Pool and Waitangi Park, and provide a safer way for people to ride between the eastern suburbs and Newtown.”

The NZ Transport Agency Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says the Government’s Urban Cycleways Fund and National Land Transport Fund are supporting local councils throughout New Zealand to accelerate cycling projects in their areas.

“It’s really pleasing to see central and local government working so well together with these communities, including Wellington, to deliver important infrastructure that will future-proof walking and cycling access.”

“Getting people out of cars and on to bikes has many health and environmental benefits, and it will also reduce congestion and pressure on our roads.”
Over the next year, Wellingtonians can expect to see a lot going on in the east as Cobham Drive is transformed, work gets under way on Oriental Parade, changes are made to provide safer neighbourhood connections in Kilbirnie, and the new uphill bike lane on Crawford Road is developed.

Statement from Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter (15 June)

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today that the NZ Transport Agency has approved $15.3 million in funding for cycling projects in Wellington’s eastern suburbs. 
The funding will help deliver a new two-way bike path around Evans Bay, improvements on Cobham Drive, a safer connection to Newtown and a number of targeted improvements in Kilbirnie. 
“These projects are an important step in the development of a safe, citywide cycling network for Wellington,” said Ms Genter.
“We know that many Wellingtonians want the freedom to cycle around their city but need separated cycling routes like these to feel safe.
“More people walking and cycling will help to create a more healthy and vibrant city while also reducing car traffic, noise, and congestion. 
“This Government is committed to working with Wellington Council to improve cycling infrastructure across the city and I hope this is the first of many such announcements.
“The Government has significantly increased the funding available for cycling projects across the country. Over $1 billion will likely be available over the next ten years for new walking and cycling infrastructure,” Ms Genter said.