This Stuff Report says Wellington will miss out on any funding from the New Zealand Cycle Trail fund this time round.
At the Ministry of Tourism site it lists the projects getting funding this time round.
- Tauranga Moana Coastal Cycle Trail (Tauranga)
- Old Motu Coach Road (Opotiki/Gisborne)
- Thermal by Bike (Rotorua)
- Lake Track (Taupo)
- Mountains to Sea Cycleway – link (Ruapehu)
- Heretaunga Ararua: Land of a Hundred Pathways (Hawkes Bay)
- Dun Mountain and Tasman Cycle Loop (Nelson/Tasman)
- Old Ghost Road (West Coast)
- Westland Wilderness Trail (Greymouth)
- Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail (Mt Cook)
- The Wakatipu Trail (Queenstown)
- Roxburgh Gorge Trail (Central Otago)
- Clutha Gold Trail (Otago)
Which I am sure are all going to be great projects, but the National Cycleway has already morphed from what PM John Key announced back at the jobs summit, a continuous route from Cape Reinga to Bluff. The map shows the chosen routes so far. It is a disjointed network.
I argue that quiet rural roads (away from the state highways) can be chosen, and then comprehensively signposted, to link the disparate trails into a network, at quite a small cost, and then magically there is a continuous cycleway network, which can be ridden, improved upon, and rerouted as funds become available. People all over the country could start getting enthused about cycling it sooner rather than later.
And as for the cities, here the National Cycleway should be about more than just recreational and tourist cycling, but act also as commuter cycleways, to promote cycling, and to reduce the currently appalling traffic on the roads. That is why Wellington needs funding for the Great Harbour Way to link Wellington and the Hutt, and why it needs a safe route between Ngauranga and Porirua (with all of the Johnsonville deathtraps turned into cycle lanes, yes getting rid of on-road car parking in J’ville town centre and turning it into a 30kph zone). The lack of vision in commuting cycling may be a limitation of the National Cycleway people, but really they’d only be taking up the slack from clueless local councils. Palmerston North might have considered the needs of cyclists, but Wellington hasn’t. Wellington even claims that it will carbon neutral in 2 years time. Like without bikes how is that ever going to happen?
I was hoping that the National Cycleway was going to be more than just a single route between Cape Reinga and Bluff. I was hoping for a network criss-crossing the whole country of safe routes away from the busy roads. Like my Power Pole route for instance. I was hoping for routes that could be ridden with full panniers and bike trailers with campsites and heading through the smaller towns where locals start new businesses providing cafes and B&Bs, and where the route was going to be only for MTBers I was hoping for bypass routes around. At the moment I’m not quite sure what the finished network (or even if it will be a network) is meant to be.
Maybe I should just be patient thinking it is all going to happen eventually and go and ride these new tracks and trails when they open.
Update: From reading the Q&A on the tourism website what is announced is it. There isn’t to be a 3rd round of funding 😦 . The Cape Reinga to Bluff concept as enthusiastically announced by the PM is not being considered. It has morphed into a “Great Rides” idea to compliment the “Great Walks”. I guess the prime minister got a bit carried away. I suppose we are lucky he did to get the current concept out of them. It does mean advocacy for more cycleways is now needed.