Work is under way on the first section of Te Ara O-Rakipaoa Nor’West Arc cycleway between Cashmere Road and Annex Road while work on a further section along Hansons Lane, Suva Street and Ballantyne Avenue will start next week.

The cycleway recently won ‘shovel-ready’ Government funding.

The route, which starts near Princess Margaret Hospital, will run north across the western side of the city, eventually connecting to Papanui via the University of Canterbury.

Extending through Spreydon, Middleton, Riccarton and Bryndwr, it will also eventually connect to the six different cycleways: the Ōpāwaho River Route, Quarryman’s Trail, Little River Link, South Express, Uni–Cycle and Northern Line.

Christchurch City Council Transport Planning and Delivery Manager Lynette Ellis says that the cycling network is already having a major effect on the city, making it safer and easier for people to cycle.

More people cycling eases the pressure on roads.

“During the pandemic lockdown, we clearly saw the positive impact of less traffic on our streets and environment,” she says.

“The new Nor’West Arc cycleway will provide an alternative travel option by providing easy access to work sites, the University of Canterbury and many primary, intermediate and secondary schools across this side of the city.

“It will cover a busy and populous area of Christchurch that is projected to grow and develop.”

Isaac Construction holds the contract to build the first section between Cashmere Road and Annex Road, whille Fulton Hogan will build the section along Hansons Lane, Suva Street and Ballantyne Avenue.

Much of the route through Spreydon is a shared road space known as a greenway, while separated paths will be built along Domain Terrace, Annex Road, Hansons Lane and Suva Street. The first section is due to be completed early next year.

People can find out more about the work at an information session with staff and contractors at the Spreydon Tennis Club, 71 Domain Terrace on Wednesday, 2 September between 4.30pm and 6pm.