Arthurs Point trail gets $10m Government boost
More than $10 million of taxpayer funding will help build a trail for walkers and cyclists between Arthurs Point and Queenstown.
It's part of a $350 million Government spend on climate-friendly transport projects around the country.
Forty-six local councils have been selected for funding, with $11.8 million coming Queenstown Lakes District Council's way.
Of it, $10.3 million is earmarked to go towards the Arthurs Point to Queenstown route, one of several "priority" routes identified by the council.
The remaining $1.5 million will be spent in Wānaka investigating options to entice people out of cars in favour of active transport options.
In a written statement, QLDC Mayor Glyn Lewers says the funding's a welcome boost to improving opportunities for people to walk and cycle for their daily commute.
With the Otago Regional Council and Waka Kotahi, the council's been doing plenty of work on planning for improvements to active travel options across Whakatipu and Wānaka, he says.
In May 2022, the council released a plan for how it'll get more people walking, cycling and on public transport.
“We know we need to shift the way we travel," the mayor says.
“Getting people out of their cars and using other ways of getting around is crucial to keeping our transport network functioning well."
The Government funding will support the council to provide alternative transport options that "make it easier to travel in ways that are good for all of us and our environment", he says.
The money comes from the Government’s Transport Choices programme, which was announced by Transport Minister Michael Wood yesterday.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will now work with the QLDC and other councils to see the funded projects through.
Construction is expected to happen next year.
Waka Kotahi urban mobility manager Kathryn King says to be eligible council projects needed to show they will make public transport easier to use, create "walkable neighbourhoods", support "healthy" school travel, or deliver strategic cycling networks.
“The programme is supporting councils to give people more options in the way they travel. I’m pleased to say we received an outstanding response from councils around the country, embracing the opportunity to provide greater transport choices for their communities."
While the funding is welcome locally, Queenstown commuters looking to ditch their cars to get around are experiencing continuous disruptions to scheduled bus services.
Main image (Facebook/New Zealand Trails)