28 Aug 2015

The first section of new cycleway built as part Christchurch City Council's Major Cycle Routes is now open, providing a safe direct route from Mona Vale along Matai Street East, into Hagley Park.

People wanting to connect between the University of Canterbury and the Central City have a new option with the opening today of a cycleway along Matai Street East.

Part of the Uni-Cycle route, it completes a missing link connecting past Christchurch Girls' High School into Hagley Park and on to the Central City as well as connecting with the existing section of the Northern Line Cycleway. The Council plans to upgrade the existing path through Hagley Park leading to the Central City to Major Cycle Routes standard.

This cycleway link means there is another travel choice for those wishing to make this trip and helps meet the Council’s strategy of creating safe and convenient travel alternatives to car travel.

"The completion of this section is an important milestone for the development of alternative travel options for people in Christchurch," says Phil Clearwater, the Council's transport spokesman.

"It's a critical part of the Uni-Cycle route which, when finished in 2017 is expected to attract about 1,800 users a day.  There are a number of destinations in the area, including Christchurch Boys' and Girls' high schools, Deans Bush and Riccarton House where weekend markets are popular, as well as Mona vale and of course Hagley Park. People will be able to use the route to commute to work, school or enjoy a leisurely bike ride to local parks, the market, shops and cafes. "

The Matai Street East cycleway was opened by Transport Minister Hon Simon Bridges, who also announced that a new cycleway in Selwyn from Rolleston to Lincoln is ready for people to use. The Minister also welcomed the impending completion of a new section of the Papanui Parallel route in the city, which is expected to be finished by the end of September.

"There is a strong commitment in Canterbury to generating a significant modal shift to cycling and these connections will ultimately form part of the wider Canterbury network for pedestrians and cyclists," the Minister says. 

NZ Transport Agency Regional Director, Jim Harland says “We’re delighted to support these cycleways through the Urban Cycleways Programme. They provide a safer and more attractive transport choice, encouraging more and more Cantabrians to get on their bikes.”

The Matai Street East cycleway work will also see improvements made to the intersection of Fendalton Road, Harper and Deans avenues. The work will be completed in coming weeks.

The Major Cycle Routes network

Uni-Cycle is one of the network of 13 Major Cycle Routes the Council is building. They will link suburbs, education facilities, business and shopping areas as well as popular recreational destinations. They will offer a level of service not seen before in Christchurch, and enable younger and less confident riders to feel safe and increase the number of cycle trips they take. More information: www.ccc.govt.nz/cycleways.

The Urban Cycleways Programme

The Matai Street East project is funded as part of the Urban Cycleways Programme, comprising shared investment from the Urban Cycleways Fund, the National Land Transport Fund and local councils.  This enables key, high-value urban cycling projects to get underway around the country over the next three years, improving cycle safety and supporting more connected cycle networks.

More information: www.nzta.govt.nz/UCP.