A cycleway linking the University of Canterbury to the central city was officially opened on Wednesdayas figures show more than 1000 people a day are already cycling on it.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel and NZ Transport Agency Director of Regional Relationships Jim Harland opened the route, saying the improved connection between the University of Canterbury and central Christchurch offered students a safer and more affordable travel choice.
“The route is already exceeding ridership projections and it is so pleasing to hear residents talk of a wave of school kids using the cycleway to get home from school,” the Mayor said.
“Universities are at the heart of any city so it is exciting to have an improved connection between the University of Canterbury and the central city. I would like to pay tribute to some of the people that have helped to make this cycleway work. It goes through both Riccarton Bush and University land and it also goes directly past a number of schools.
“All of these organisations have gone out of their way to embrace the benefits of the cycleway and have put up with the disruption while construction took place.”
Work on the Uni-Cycle route has included improved lighting, footpaths, upgraded intersections and landscaping. Figures show the cycle commuters have already been enjoying sections of the cycle way, with an average of 419 cycle trips counted on University Drive on weekdays and an average of 1058 trips a day through North Hagley Park.
“The Uni-Cycle route was the first of both the Government’s Urban Cycleway Programme and Christchurch’s Major Cycle Routes to get underway in 2015 so it’s great to see it complete. It will be a key route for the west of the city," Mr Harland said.
“It’s also one of the first cycle routes in the country to have specialist railway crossing gates for cyclists.”
The cycleway starts at the UC College of Education, Health and Human Development on Solway Avenue and travels through Ilam Fields, University Drive, Riccarton Bush, and along Matai Street. It links to the central city via Hagley Park.
The Council is building a network of Major Cycle Routes. They will link suburbs, education facilities, business and shopping areas as well as popular recreational destinations.
The Papanui Parallel and Little River Link cycleways are already open. The first stage of the Rapanui – Shag Rock Cycleway through Linwood will be completed in the next month and work has also just begun on the Quarryman’s Trail route connecting Halswell to the central city.