Council focused on investing in cycling activities for the community29/05/2018 3:10pm
A close connection to the natural environment is important for many Nelsonians.
Nelson City Council is committed to ensuring our communities have access to a range of social, education and recreational facilities and activities.
The importance of recreational cycling and mountain biking was acknowledged during Long Term Plan deliberations in May.
The Nelson Mountain Bike Club and the Nelson Tasman Cycling Trust will receive funding to encourage the growth and development of the city’s recreational cycle and mountain bike trails.
Mountain biking in Nelson has one of the highest rates of participation of any active recreation, due to the wonderful network of mountain bike trails that have been developed. Recent reports (such as a report from Business and Economic Research Limited - BERL) have shown that there are considerable economic benefits for the city in developing our mountain bike trails and services to attract tourists.
Council has allocated funding for the development of mountain bike trails and to support the Nelson Mountain Bike Club with plans to host the Enduro World Series event in Nelson in 2021. Funding of $500,000 has been approved over three years.
Mayor Reese says, “Attracting the Enduro World Series will be a real coup for Nelson, as well as providing an economic boost, it will go a long way in establishing our creditability as an international mountain biking destination.”
Nelson Mountain Bike Club President Mark Newton says, “We are delighted to see such strong support for the further development of mountain biking in the Council’s Long Term Plan.”
“We are looking forward to working closely with the Council, and all of our stakeholders, to help Nelson realise the social and economic benefits the sport offers.”
“Our club members have been building mountain biking infrastructure in Nelson for more than 25 years. This funding and support from the Council over the next decade will enable Nelson to develop into a truly world-class destination that caters for all skill and fitness levels.”
Mark Newton advised that the Nelson Mountain Bike Club has a very clear strategic plan that they are working hard to deliver on behalf of their 3,000+ members. This includes the vision of Nelson hosting a round of the Enduro World Series in 2021. With the excellent relationships between the Club, Nelson City Council, Ngati Koata and Tasman Pine Forests the future is very bright for mountain biking in Nelson. The support from Council will help cement Nelson's reputation as one of the premier riding locations in the world.
Council also agreed that cycle trails in the city should receive a funding boost over the next two years.
An off-road trail between the Maitai Dam and Maitai Camp will be explored and developed ($60,000), the section on the Dun Mountain Trail from Coppermine Saddle to the Maitai Dam will be renewed ($50,000) and the trail along the Maitai pipeline, which was affected by a slip, will be reinstated ($50,000). These allocated amounts will be match-funded through central Government.
The proposed Great Taste Trail extension from Tahunanui Beach to the airport is under way, and expected to be completed within one year. This is a year earlier than the initial projected timeframe.
Gillian Wratt, Chair of the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trust was pleased to see that the Council has included funding in the Long Term Plan for cycling related projects. “The Great Taste Trail and the Dun Mountain (Coppermine) Trail are increasingly popular with local riders and those from out of town. The Great Taste Trail recorded around 180,000 passes per annum over the last four years, and recently installed counters on the Dun Mountain Trail recorded more than 1500 riders in February and March 2018.”
“The Trust is delighted with the Council’s decisions to make funding available to extend the Great Taste Trail from the airport to Tahunanui and for upgrading work on Dun Mountain Trail. These Long Term Plan commitments take us one step closer to an environment that enables cycling to be an accessible way of travelling for everyone – whether they are young, old, commuting, new to cycling or looking for adventure.”
Mayor Rachel Reese reiterated the broader benefits these trails provide.
“The cycling infrastructure can also be used by walkers, and our growing tourist population that choose to ride (rather than to drive) as they explore Nelson Tasman.”