The GBCWS has released an update to its 20 year cycling strategy. These are available for download:
What is the Strategy?
The strategy is a 20-year plan that kick starts action on the top-priority routes in the first two years. Its goal is to make Golden Bay cycle friendly by offering safe commutes, challenging tracks, and fun rides. It embraces the concept of shared pathways for both cycling and walking. It provides cycling infrastructure and safe environments that enable cycling to be an accessible way of travelling for everyone – young, old and all of us in between!
In the two years since its first release, the strategy has been used for dialog with all levels of Government and the community to engender support for cycling in Golden Bay. It has facilitated these discussions and contributed to a number of significant developments such as:
- Completion of the Takaka-Pōhara Cycleway
- Start of the Takaka-Paines Ford Cycleway
- Start of the extension of the Paines Ford Cycleway to East Takaka Road
- Completion of the pre-feasibility study by the GBCWS for the Takaka-Collingwood Cycleway
- Commitment by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to start preliminary work towards the Takaka-Rangihaeata section of the proposed Takaka-Collingwood
- Establishment of the route from Browns Hut (at the end of the Heaphy) to Collingwood as a Heartland Ride
This strategy, and the vision for cycling in Golden Bay that it presents, is community owned and led. It is based on a series of consultations with diverse community sectors, including businesses, landowners, police, health, environmental guardians, people who walk or cycle, and the general public, together with feedback from community surveys. It was coordinated and prepared by the GBCWS in response to a strong call from our community for better, safer cycling infrastructure in the Bay.
The strategy (and the discussion below) uses the following terminology:
- Routes are the four strategic principle cycle routes connecting key parts of Golden Bay
- Cycleways are paths on or adjacent to roads which may be for bicycles or shared with pedestrians
- Tracks are off road mountain bike suitable tracks
Vision: The Golden Bay Cycling Network
GBCWS’ vision is for a Golden Bay Cycling Network. It is comprised of four routes, which provide safe cycling connectivity to the principal destinations in Golden Bay.
- Route 1—Heaphy Track to Tōtaranui: This provides connectivity for cyclists travelling into Golden Bay via the Heaphy Track. It is the main ‘backbone’ route for cycling in Golden Bay and is designated a ‘Heartland Ride’, part of a growing network of national cycle tour routes. It passes through our two main towns of Collingwood and Takaka, as well as other settlements such as Pōhara. From Tōtaranui it is possible to take a water taxi to Marahau or Kaiteriteri, where cyclists can connect with the Tasman Great Taste Trail, and cycle to Richmond and Nelson.
- Route 2—Upper Takaka to Takaka: This links the southern end of Golden Bay to Takaka, providing access for local residents as well as others who may travel over Takaka Hill or come into Golden Bay via Barons Flat.
- Route 3—Wharariki to Collingwood: Linking the popular tourist destinations of Wharariki Beach in the Northwest of Golden Bay to Collingwood and from there on Route 1 to Takaka and beyond.
- Route 4—Marahau to Takaka: This route would provide an off-road alternative for cyclists to enter Golden Bay. It connects with the existing Tasman Great Taste Trail via the road from Marahau to Kaiteriteri.
The maps below show the network, and the status of these four routes—i.e. which sections are completed versus those where works are required to complete the network.
Network Development Priorities
Having defined our proposed network, what are the priorities for developing it--along with other complementary rides which while not forming part of the network are still important for Golden Bay?
Fundamental to the design of the network’s cycleways is that they will be shared pathways for both cyclists and pedestrians.
Cyclists have four basic needs and requirements wherever they ride. The requirements are:
- A safe space in which to ride
- A smooth and consistent riding surface
- Routes that are well connected and continuous
- Commuting routes that enable speed maintenance (commuting routes that require cyclists to regularly slow to stop and to take long deviations are undesirable)
Some of the proposed routes are alongside road and some are off-road. Where a route is alongside road, separation between the cycleway and the road should be encouraged in accordance with good design principles.
The priorities were defined by the GBCWS in relation to our strategic vision of “an evolving network of cycle and walkways that connects people and communities across Golden Bay”. It should be noted that some of the proposals are either new tracks identified as part of a post Covid-19 opportunity, or new thinking which has evolved since the Strategy was first developed. The table below, and map show what is proposed, in three groups: High (1-4 year horizon), Medium (5-10 year horizon) and Low priority. This is not to say that should the opportunity or resources arise we cannot do Medium and Low priority activities earlier!
What is Next?
We will use the strategy to engage with stakeholders and funders to try and realize our vision and make Golden Bay a safe and exciting place for cycling!