A cycleway connecting central Christchurch and the University of Canterbury has been named the Supreme Winner at the Bike to the Future Awards.
Organised by the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Cycling Action Network (CAN), the national awards acknowledge the country’s most innovative cycling projects.
Christchurch City Council’s Uni-Cycle Major Cycle Route has been named the Supreme Winner, along with taking out the Built Excellence Award.
The 5.6-kilometre cycleway, which was delivered by the Council with funding from the agency and the Government through the Urban Cycleways Programme, opened in September 2017.
It runs between the central city and the University of Canterbury through Hagley Park, Riccarton Bush and the Ilam Fields, ensuring a safer and easier route.
Judges have described the cycleway as an “exemplar project” and a deserving winner of the Supreme Bike to the Future Award presented in Palmerston North this week.
Christchurch has also been recognised with the Revolutionary Award for Biketober Christchurch 2017, a month-long celebration of cycling aimed at getting more people on bikes.
Councillor Pauline Cotter, Chairperson of the Council's Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee, says scooping two categories and the Supreme Award is great recognition for the work of the Council in promoting biking as an everyday part of life.
“With impressive biking numbers continuing through the winter and more cycleways, bike events and promotion in the pipeline, there is plenty more to encourage people to give cycling a go,” she says.
The cycle counter in North Hagley Park – where the Uni–Cycle route meets the city – has recorded a 13 per cent increase in 2018, well up on the 2017 figures.
Cr Cotter says the numbers demonstrate that putting in good infrastructure delivers results.
“We will see these numbers increasing around the city with cycleway construction continuing on the Rapanui – Shag Rock Cycleway through Linwood, the Quarryman’s Trail cycleway from the city to Halswell and the Heathcote Expressway cycle path through Woolston this year,” she says.
“It is exciting to see cycling playing an increasingly important part in our city.
“We know cycling has great health benefits, reduces congestion and is good for our environment, so it’s wonderful that Christchurch has received recognition of its bold vision to deliver 13 separated cycleways.”
Biketober Christchurch 2017 was supported by the Council, the NZ Transport Agency, and a host of local groups.
The upcoming Biketober 2018 features multiple events, including “bike into spring”, a bike expo, cycle for confidence rides and bike maintenance workshops.