Thank you, but we need more cycle ways

Cycle power – recreational riders gather to celebrate and call for more safe trails. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

Nearly a hundred Tauranga recreational cyclists turned out en masse this week to say thank you to the NZTA.

They gathered at Ila Park on a new commuter and recreational link, a shared cycle way and boardwalk hugging SH29A from the new Poike Road overbridge to the Hairini roundabout. It’s due to be completed this month.

“A superb facility, a much needed boardwalk and cycle way. And at absolutely no cost to the ratepayer,” says grateful Chris Ingram of the Wednesday Sulphur Point cycling group.

“The new shared cycle way links the cycling and pedestrian networks in Hairini and the Maungatapu underpass,” says the NZTA’s projects team manager, John McCarthy. “It provides a link to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and the University of Waikato’s Windermere campuses.”

The gathering of cyclists wasn’t just a thank you.  “It was also to impress on the NZTA our urgent need for more safe commuting trails, especially along state highways and toll roads,” says Chris. Essential, he says, is the link to connect Papamoa to the Kaituna Bridge trail.

“Cycling is a popular and rapidly growing activity in Tauranga and so there are many cyclists and walkers hungry for more safe linked trails.”

 He says the cyclists would also like to thank Tauranga City Council for the cycle ways, bridges and signs constructed in the past year; for its surveys and planning. However, he urged more funding “to take cars off our congested roads and for our health and well-being.”

NZTA is working with the council as it develops its Cycle Action Plan. The plan will guide the next stages of the cycle network investment in Tauranga. And it’s also working with the Western Bay of Plenty District Council and co-investing in the Omokoroa to Tauranga cycleway.

John says NZTA is keen to see more walking and cycling projects in the city to provide people with transport choice, to support the creation of livable cities, to reduce emissions and to improve public health outcomes.