Thanks a million!

Kihikihi School pupils, from left, Hana Tuhua-Tamaiva, Te Oriwa Heke, Ryan Bull and Wiremu Kapa celebrate with principal Sunny West and deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk, community board chair Ange Holt and, right, mayor Susan O’Regan.

Waipā cycle and walkways, which the government’s transport agency Waka Kotahi would not fund, will get money from the climate emergency relief fund.

Projects in Cambridge, Te Awamutu and Kihikihi formed part of the council’s $11 million Urban Mobility programme but stalled when Waka Kotahi’s 51 per cent contribution did not eventuate.

Michael Wood

Transport Minister Michael Wood announced on Sunday a range of projects selected to get a slice of $350 million as part of the Transport Choices package.

The projects, funded from the climate emergency response fund – established in this year’s Budget – focus on low- and no-emissions transport to reduce the need for cars.

Waipā’s share could be up to $10.4 million, the council said in a media release and could get underway mid next year.

The funding in Kihikihi will connect the town centre with the domain and eventually extend to schools in Te Awamutu.

The popular Te Awa River Ride and Hamilton Road cycleways will be extended into the Cambridge business district and broken cycle links in Cambridge west fixed.

Deputy mayor and Urban Mobility Group chair Liz Stolwyk said the money would offer safer ways to get to school, town, parks and home again without relying on a car.

“We accept not everyone wants to be on a bike, but plenty of people in Waipā do and that number is growing,” Stolwyk said.

“We also know most people want fewer cars on our roads and safe pathways for mobility scooters, e-scooters and walkers. This is win-win for everyone and I’m absolutely thrilled.

“In the meantime, the work to reduce our reliance on cars, reduce emissions and provide more transport choices in Waipā – including an improved bus service across the district – won’t stop. There’s more work to do but wow, this is a great way to end the year.”

Celebration time, from left: Cambridge Community Board chair Jo Davies-Colley and her three children Lansley, 7, Nina, 11, and Sylvie, 9 with deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk, mayor Susan O’Regan, Margaret Drew and in the pram Adie Williams, 19 months.

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