15 Feb 2013

Cities trial project to get people out of cars

10:15 am on 15 February 2013

Two North Island cities are spending millions of dollars to get people out of their cars and into walking, cycling or taking the bus.

New Plymouth and Hastings are test cases in a New Zealand Transport Agency pilot project that has provided the cash to encourage physical modes of transport.

New Plymouth's Let's Go project manager, Carl Whittleston, says the council has spent $6.6 million in the past two-and-a-half years upgrading walkways, modifying roads and running cycle and scooter skills programmes in schools.

He says track upgrades, such as from the outer suburb of Bell Block to an industrial area, have substantially increased cycling usage.

Hastings City Council says it lagged behind other cities before securing more than $4 million from the Transport Agency to put in cycleways.