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Regional Cycle Network update
A better, connected regional cycle network with the potential to deliver economic and social benefits across the region is the central premise of a study facilitated by Bay of Connections.
Working with a diverse group of stakeholders, Bay of Connections has gathered information about the cycleways in our region and how these could be aligned to create a mutually beneficial network.
This has built a strong knowledge base for use by groups seeking funding and land access when presenting cases for support.
The study draws together the various social, cultural, environmental, transport and economic perspectives to develop a regional view of existing cycle networks and identify priority projects to complete the network.
It also highlights the barriers, challenges and opportunities in establishing a regional network, and outlines a strategic direction for what is required to create a more regional focus for cycle trails and networks.
The considerable investment in cycle networks throughout our region in the past decade can be leveraged to unlock a wider ‘network benefit’ - where the value of those cycleways are greater in their entirety than as single disconnected tracks.
By promoting the wider Bay of Plenty as a cycling destination and building awareness in the community to generate an interest in cycling, cycle networks will provide multiple benefits in zero emission travel, as well as recreation amenities for residents and visitors alike.
Better integration of the existing cycle networks would also allow the development of new and improved tourism products that would attract visitors to the region, creating employment and economic benefits.
The trails are an opportunity to showcase our natural environment and culture, and provide a vehicle to share the region’s stories.
In the future, the shared ambition is to make this network part of a connected journey between sub-regions, connecting our communities, whānau and places.
There is tremendous local support and passion for developing cycling networks across the rohe. Working together will ensure that the benefits of better regional networks are achieved.
Bay of Connections will report back to the stakeholder group this week and will discuss the actions and roles required for stakeholders to implement the strategy.
The final report on establishing a regional cycle network in the Bay of Plenty will be released later this year.
Monday, November 15, 2021