Alps 2 Ocean would welcome funding

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The Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail would welcome some of the Government’s funding for New Zealand cycle trails to help get more of the A2O off-road.

The $8 million contestable fund over four years would help to maintain and enhance the 23 Great Rides of New Zealand.

A2O Charitable Trust trustee Adair Craik said she would welcome any funding from the Government for the cycle trail.

“It’s fantastic and totally necessary if we want to be successful.”

Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT) would provide funding on a case-by-case basis and A2O would be submitting an application, she said.

“We just have to put our case forward along with the other trails.

“It’s a hugely important asset for the community.

“What we’re doing is offering another opportunity to see New Zealand at a slowed-down pace.”

If they received funding, they would use the money to get the two areas that run on SH83 off-road.

“That’s where we’re focusing our attention.

“Even though we have completed some parts of the trail, there’s still a long way to go.”

They were currently discussing options with land owners in the area about the possibility of putting the trail on their properties, she said.

“We’re in the process of that as well as finding other funding.”

NZCT manager Evan Freshwater said the funding would help to ensure the Great Rides of New Zealand trails were delivering the best possible visitor experience.

“This new funding will be used to maintain and improve safety and quality across this world-class network of 23 Great Rides.

“For example, the fund will allow trail managers to realign sections of trail where the gradient may exceed what is desirable for their riders, improve the trail surface or build bridges or boardwalks. The funding can also be used to make repairs after storm damage.”

The 23 trails spanned the length of the country, had proved a catalyst for new businesses and were creating jobs and wealth in communities, he said.

“Tourism New Zealand research shows that around 4 per cent of international holiday visitors do some sort of cycling while they are in New Zealand.”

By RUBY HARFIELD

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

FUNDING ANNOUNCED: The Government’s $8 million funding would be welcomed by the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail.