A long-distance cycleway could be part of a national cycle network that has huge benefits for New Zealanders walking too, adds walking advocate "Celia Wade-Brown. The UK Sustrans network is heavily used by walkers and runners where it runs near town and city centres. Health benefits for walking are estimated to be more than $2 per kilometre walked.
A $50 million national cycleway the length of the country, under consideration at today's Jobs Summit in Auckland, makes great economic sense, according to the Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN).
"Major cycling infrastructure projects overseas have brought significant long-term benefits in terms of tourism. Here in New Zealand the success of the Otago Central Rail Trail has shown how a traffic-free route for cycling and walking can have big benefits for the local economy, creating jobs and new business opportunities," says Glen Koorey, CAN's Co-Chairperson.
CAN, New Zealand's national organisation for transport, recreational and touring cyclists, is already involved in a new project to kick-start a national cycling and walking network. Planning has already started on this project, financially supported by the Hikurangi Foundation, and involving the national pedestrian advocacy organisation Living Streets Aotearoa.
It is also one of the initiatives included in the implementation plan for the national walking and cycling strategy, Getting There - on foot, by cycle.
For further information contact: Celia Wade-Brown celia.wadebrown at livingstreets.org.nz 027 483 6691