Transport Minister Simon Bridges opened the Puari ki Papanui/Papanui Parallel cycleway in Christchurch today, marking the second cycleway in the city to be completed through the Government’s Urban Cycleways Programme.

The Papanui Parallel provides a 4.9km safer route for people on bikes travelling into the city centre from Papanui and the northern suburbs.

“Through the Urban Cycleways Programme our goal is to encourage more people to cycle for every day trips,” Mr Bridges says.

“In Christchurch there has been a 21 per cent annual increase in the number of people cycling into the city centre during weekdays. The completion of the Papanui Parallel will give people in Christchurch even more options to get around by bike.”

The Papanui Parallel was jointly funded by the Government’s Urban Cycleways Fund, the National Land Transport Fund, and Christchurch City Council at a total cost of $13.2 million. The first section of the Little River Link, formally opened by Mr Bridges last month, was funded similarly through the Urban Cycleways Programme.

“This is a great example of what can be accomplished when working in partnership,” Mr Bridges says.

At today’s ribbon-cutting Mr Bridges also presented the Mayor of Christchurch, Hon Lianne Dalziel with the inaugural 2017 New Zealand’s Favourite Places to Ride Top Cycling Town award.

“This award confirms that cycling is very important to the people of Christchurch. Further testament to this is a statement received with one of the Christchurch nominations - the Christchurch city centre cycleways are ‘straight up Canterbury’ and a lovely way to explore the Garden City,” Mr Bridges says.

The award was determined by the city or town that received the most nominations across three of the Favourite Places to Ride categories - Urban Ride, Off-Road or Adventure Ride and Community Facility. New Zealanders made close to 10,000 nominations for around 1200 different rides across the country.

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