TOMMY PARKER, NZ TRANSPORT AGENCY GROUP MANAGER, HIGHWAYS & NETWORKS OPERATIONS.
WE HAVE AN ONGOING commitment to all modes of transport and cycle ways and cycle safety is an important focus for us. We’re establishing a core cycling team working across the Agency to support our increased commitment which will enable us to:
- deliver solutions faster and more effectively through partnerships and by streamlining planning processes and procurement practices;
- better respond to growing political and public interest in improving cycle safety, including leading implementation of recommendations in the recent New Zealand Cycling Safety Panel’s report;
- support the newly established Urban Cycleways Fund (UCF) and get the most out of investment opportunities over the next three years, including realising the untapped potential of cycling to help optimise transport networks.
We all recognise that cycling is an integral part of New Zealand’s land transport system and plays an important role in optimising the overall land transport network. It is rapidly gaining in popularity and is now the fastest-growing mode of transport in Auckland and several other cities and towns across New Zealand.
We know cycling helps make our towns and cities great places to live; we get fitter and healthier when we bike and it takes pressure off other transport routes.
Recognising the contribution cycling makes to the total transport network, the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2015-18 has increased the funding range for walking and cycling activities. The Government also recently announced $100 million in new funding for cycling through the UCF. This will speed up the completion of connected urban cycle networks over the next four years. Priorities for this work will be announced within the next few months.
It also builds on the significant investments already being made in cycling, including through the model communities in Hastings and New Plymouth, the New Zealand Cycle Trail network and other roading projects, including the Roads of National Significance.
We’re developing an ‘innovative programme approach’ which will include investment infrastructure, and user behaviour initiatives in partnership with councils and the wider sector which will provide cross-sector leadership and balance the needs of cyclists with other network users through:
- guidance and standards;
- collaborative planning and investment;
- effective delivery to maximise benefits sooner.
We can all play a key role in continuing the growth in cycling journeys. By working closely across the Transport Agency and with our sector partners, we can deliver more for cycling in New Zealand through a customer journey, one network, partnership approach that will encourage more New Zealanders to ride more often and more safely.
There are exciting times ahead in the cycling space and we’ll keep you posted over the coming months.