Christchurch has taken out the inaugural Top Town Award in the NZ Transport Agency’s annual Favourite Places to Ride competition.
Christchurch’s win was announced today by Transport Minister Simon Bridges and follows significant investment by the Christchurch City Council and the Government in urban cycleways.
A network of 13 major cycleways is currently being built across Christchurch.
“The competition was close, with Christchurch beating Rotorua and Wellington to take the top title,’’ Mr Bridges said.
The Top Town Award was determined by the city or town that received the most nominations across three of the Favourite Places to Ride categories - Urban Ride, Off-Road or Adventure Ride and Community Facility.
The Urban Ride category winner was Taupo’s Great Lake Walkway, followed by Wellington’s ‘Around the Bays’. This category recognises rides around towns and cities including new urban cycleways and shared paths.
The top New Zealand Cycle Trail was taken out by Otago Central Rail Trail for the second year in a row, with close competition from Old Ghost Road.
Rotorua’s The Redwoods – Whakarewarewa Forest was winner of the Off-Road or Adventure ride for the second year in a row. This category includes off-road trails and mountain bike tracks.
The Community Facility category, a new addition for 2017, was won by Avanti Velodrome, followed closely by Kids Bike Taupo.
New Zealanders made close to 10,000 nominations for around 1200 different rides across the four categories.
“It’s great to see such widespread participation in the competition from the far north to the deep south of New Zealand. It shows that it is not just our world-class cycle trails that are proving popular, but that more and more of us are utilising the growing number of urban cycleways routes around the country and choosing to make every day trips by bike,’’ Mr Bridges said.
“Over 60 per cent of urban New Zealanders think cycling is a good way to get around easily and efficiently. By celebrating New Zealanders' favourite cycling routes from around the country we're helping to encourage more people to get out on their bikes more often.’’