15 April 2016
Cycling will be back on the agenda next month when Waipa District Council considers a draft cycling strategy for the district.
Council staff have worked with community representatives to develop the strategy which will provide a blueprint for future road and off-road cycling initiatives.
In June last year Council agreed to spend $1.2 million on cycleways and walkways, ring-fenced largely for initiatives on the western side of the district. But manager strategy and community relations Jo Ireland said the work goes wider than that. It aims to ensure future expenditure is well thought out so the district gets the best possible “bang for its buck”.
“The strategy is about ensuring we have the right type of cycleways in the right place, connecting the right things,” she said.
“We don’t have unlimited money and the stakeholders we have worked with are very clear there needs to be a strategic and long-term approach to our investment in cycleways.”
The strategy, which is still being finalised, recognises that cycling has an increasing economic value to the district by attracting visitors who generate economic activity. It suggests cycleways should be used to help showcase Waipa’s heritage by connecting people, town and features.
“What’s also recognised is that cycling is a largely affordable and very social activity – you don’t need a flash bike to participate,” Ireland said.
“It’s a healthy activity and well-liked by all ages and it’s becoming more and more popular. If we get our strategy and investment priorities right, Waipa can leverage the increasing interest in all types of cycling and grow its reputation as a fantastic cycling destination.”
The draft strategy considers recreational riders, road riders and those cyclists who use urban networks like the Cambridge Town Belt. It has considered a range of potential routes and will make a series of recommendations.
The draft strategy will be presented on May 3.
Media enquiries, contact Jeanette Tyrrell (on behalf of Council) 027 5077 599.