In response to growing interest in recreational, commuting and cycle tourism, region-wide consultation was carried out to develop a vision for cycling in Southland.
Cycling is a popular activity in Southland engaged in by 29% of the region’s population - a higher participation rate than the national average of 24.8% for New Zealand. To further encourage engagement in the activity the Southland Cycling Strategy 2016 -2026 was developed.
The Strategy aligns with the New Zealand Government’s actions to provide safe, accessible cycling as a transport mode, and as a recreational and tourism activity that provides health, lifestyle and local economic benefits, and focuses on four broad categories; commuter cycling, recreational cycling, cycle tourism and competitive and event cycling.
Key areas of focus
- Improvements in basic infrastructure to encourage more people to cycle
- The development and promotion of a suite of high-quality cycling experiences
- Implementation of programmes, events and activities that encourage people to cycle and raise safety awareness
- The rejuvenation of competitive cycling events
- Development of local, cycle commissionable tourism products
The Strategy going forward
The Strategy will provide a framework for local government, agencies, the community, cycling organisations and the tourism industry to identify and invest in cycling opportunities in a consistent, collaborative and sustainable way.
Focusing on the specific needs, situations and practicalities relating toSouthland, including the scarcity of funds and resources for cycling infrastructure development, the Strategy will help to identify projects for government funding programmes.
A Southland Cycling Governance Group, made up of council and community representatives, will oversee the strategy and prioritise areas of implementation over the coming years.