Cy­cle­way on track for cov­eted award

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - CLASSIFIED INDEX - PAULA HULBURT

It may be one of the small­est cy­cle­ways in the coun­try but it is mak­ing a big im­pres­sion na­tion­ally.

The long-awaited Spring Creek cy­cle­way is a con­tender for a cov­eted na­tional cy­cling award.

The 2.8-kilo­me­tre cy­cle­way ex­tended an ex­ist­ing path be­tween Blen­heim and Spring Creek, about 6 kilo­me­tres north, just in time for Christ­mas.

It has been named as one of 29 in­no­va­tive cy­cling projects across New Zealand to make the fi­nals of the 2017 Bike to the Fu­ture Awards.

The awards, or­gan­ised by the NZ Trans­port Agency and Cy­cling Ac­tion Net­work (CAN), cel­e­brate the peo­ple and projects mak­ing cy­cling a bet­ter way to get around.

All fi­nal­ists have been cho­sen from a record-break­ing 80 nom­i­na­tions. Fi­nal­ists range from large scale in­fra­struc­ture projects to smaller scale com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives.

Cy­cling Ac­tion Net­work spokesman Pa­trick Mor­gan says the sheer num­ber of nom­i­na­tions re­ceived com­pared to pre­vi­ous years shows cy­cling is catch­ing on.

‘‘With the Gov­ern­ment and coun­cils build­ing new cy­cle­ways, in­vest­ing in skills train­ing for our young peo­ple and en­cour­ag­ing more and more Ki­wis to give cyc- ling a go, it’s get­ting even eas­ier to get about by bike,’’ he says.

The cy­cle­way ex­tended an ex­ist­ing cy­cle­way be­tween Blen­heim and Grove­town while also pro­vid­ing off-road ac­cess to both Spring Creek and Grove­town schools, both within 500 me­tres of the route.

The Spring Creek cy­cle­way is up against com­pe­ti­tion from four oth­ers across the coun­try to take out the Big Bike Bling Award.

Speak­ing on be­half of the judg- ing panel, Pippa Coom says the rise in en­try num­bers has been ‘‘in­spir­ing’’. ‘‘Along with the ded­i­cated in­di­vid­u­als pro­vid­ing New Zealan­ders with the con­fi­dence and skills to get about by bike, and sig­nif­i­cant growth in qual­ity cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture, we can tell the fu­ture is bright for a bike-friendly New Zealand.’’

Win­ners will be an­nounced at the Asia-Pa­cific Cy­cle Congress awards din­ner in Christchurch on Oc­to­ber 19.

PHOTO: STUFF

Spring Creek res­i­dent Jochem Roelvink rides to work each day on the Spring Creek cy­cle­way. (File pic)

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