Another $25 million has been earmarked for the New Zealand Cycle Trail in this year’s Budget.
Prime Minister John Key said that the funding would help link up existing cycleways in Central Otago and other regions.
It was part of a $45 million boost for tourism in the Budget, as high numbers of arrivals create new opportunities for development but also put pressure on infrastructure.
Mr Key said the national cycleway helped to attract “high-value” visitors and encouraged them to stay in New Zealand for longer.
Around half of the $25 million will be used to link four existing cycle trails in Central Otago – the Queenstown Trail, the Otago Central Rail Trail, the Roxburgh Gorge Trail and the Clutha Gold Trail. Once completed, it will be a continuous 536km trail.
Other regions would be able to apply for funding to link up or expand their own cycle trails, Mr Key said.
To date, $60 million has been invested in the New Zealand Cycle Trail.
What about the Taupo to Turangi (“T2T”) bike trail?.
TRM have been pleading for this for years.
Taupo Council (DGLT) applied for funding a bike trail alongside Lake Taupo for the 50 km from Taupo to Turangi but could not attract enough Government funding to link up.
Compare the number of tourists on SH1 to the remote locations of central Otago?
Taupo Council really have to think strategically and try harder to qualify for the other funds available. From the statement above there is still $20 Million not allocated and waiting for a bike trail scheme? The feasibility study has all been done. Everyone knows it will work. So why?
If all these other remote places qualify for funding then Taupo must be doing something wrong.
This T2T would easily become the most popular bike trail in NZ yet, so far, it cannot attract enough funding. The Government funding should be directed to where the tourists go – not trying to force them out into remote locations lacking all the infrastructure of accommodation and facilities.
OK We admit bias as TRM just happens to be located at the best end of the T2T. We even have bikes waiting… So?
There are thousands more tourists passing our door than in the wop wops of Central Otago.
The T2T would be a winner for everyone.
Please send this on to the Mayor of Taupo.