Russel Norman Comments At Twin Coast Cycle Trail

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Tue 5/May/15 10:24am

Russel Norman comments at Twin Coast Cycle Trail budget funding announcement

Thank you Mayor Carter. It is great to be in the sunny North today.

The commitment of funding to complete the Twin Coast Cycle Trail is great news.

This funding will make a truly great ride from coast to coast and offers great tourism opportunities for this region.

Working with the Government on the New Zealand Cycle Trail has been a very important project for the Green Party.

We are proud of the part we have played in this partnership with National, which exemplifies smart green policy in action.

Our memorandum of understanding with National has delivered over $400 million worth of green initiatives for New Zealand.

Prime Minister, you might not be surprised to learn you have spent more on Green projects in our MOU than on initiatives with your formal coalition partners! And exceptionally good investments they have been too!

This cycle trail is part of a wider Greens National policy package, including the successful home insulation scheme, the clean-up of the contaminated Tui mine site and the establishment of a register of toxic sites and trials of non-poisonous trapping of pests in the DOC estate.

Together these success stories represent just the tip of what is possible as we transition New Zealand to a richer greener future.

And getting out of cars and onto our bikes can be a big part of that future.

Put simply the cycle trail is good for people, good for our economy and great for our environment.

It is win win win for New Zealand.

Investing in cycling makes sense for New Zealanders.

Greater investment in cycling infrastructure encourages more cyclists. And more cyclists is a good thing for our environment and our roads.

Across New Zealand more and more of us are switching from cars to bikes to get to work and the Cycle Trail offers a healthy and unique way to see our beautiful country.

The economic benefits of the cycle tail are significant. Cycle infrastructure generally has a higher benefit cost ratio than roads. Cycle ways can also become tourism magnets. The success of the Otago Rail Trail shows the potential business opportunity for the North.

And our environment benefits too. Reducing our dependence on cars and fossil fuels will be an essential component of reducing our carbon emissions to combat climate change.

It is long standing Green policy for there to be a set of connected cycle trails around New Zealand. We want to see these great rides connect to urban cycle networks too.

On that score it was pleasing to see the Government’s commitment to spend $100 million over four years on urban cycle ways at the election.

We would have loved it to be a bit more, well four times more to be precise, but we are more than happy to work with you on the rollout of that project.

But this commitment of funds is great news. It is great for the North, great for cyclists and we are proud to be here today part of the announcement.
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