Work has begun on the new $6.1 million cycleway from Aeroglen to Cairns CBD.
Transport Minister Rachel Nolan in Cairns today said the project was the first stage of a high class, dedicated cycle facility into Cairns CBD from the north.
“Cairns has one of the highest cycling mode shares for travel to and from work in Queensland with about 4 per cent of all of these journeys being taken by bike,” Ms Nolan said.
“Great weather and the linear nature of the city makes it a great place to ride your bike.
“This new cycleway is being jointly funded by the State Government and Cairns City Council, with the State contributing 75 per cent, or $4.6 million,” Ms Nolan said.
“It will begin at Aeroglen and travel via Lake Street and the Esplanade to the CBD, linking to a number of major destinations including the hospital, recreational facilities, shops, cafés, restaurants and the CBD.
“The Queensland Government has invested over $100 million on cycling infrastructure this year, a record for Queensland. Over $10 million is being invested in Cairns alone,” Ms Nolan said.
“The State Government has also invested $1.5 million into improving safety for cyclists around nine roundabouts on the Captain Cook Highway, and $1.04 million improving the Mcleod and James Street intersection.”
Cairns MPs Desley Boyle (Cairns), Steve Wettenhall (Barron River), and Curtis Pitt (Mulgrave) said the new cycleway was a major boost for local cyclists.
Mr Pitt said the Bligh Government was committed to providing cycling infrastructure to support a healthy and green Queensland.
“By building infrastructure such as this we’re creating a safe cycle route with protection from traffic to encourage people of all ages to cycle, jog or walk,” Mr Pitt said.
“I’m also pleased that planning for the Bruce Highway Upgrade and Cairns Transit Network Projects includes a high speed cycleway to connect the fast growing southern corridor with Cairns in the future.”
“This dedicated bikeway will make it easy for locals and visitors to travel around the beautiful city of Cairns without needing a car,” Ms Boyle said.
Mr Wettenhall said the new cycleway would provide a cycle link between Aeroglen, the Esplanade and the Cairns CBD.
“This means it will connect a number of major destinations, services and facilities, including schools, shops and entertainment areas,” Mr Wettenhall said.
Mayor Val Schier said Cairns was a perfectly sized city to cycle within.
“It is important that the cycling infrastructure is delivered to get more people cycling and ease congestion in city streets,” Cr Schier said.
“The cycleway will be built in stages with the Moffat Street to Lily Street section being the first to be delivered. Council has been working closely with the community for 18 months to ensure the safest and most desirable alignment has been chosen
“The community and tourist industry will play a key role in making Cairns a green and sustainable city, and the data collected from this cycleway will be used for future cycleway planning.
“This cycleway will provide a safe cycle route with protection from traffic to encourage people of all ages to cycle, instead of driving,” Cr Schier said.
“Following feedback from the community, part of the cycleway was realigned to the western side of the Captain Cook Highway and will connect to the Esplanade.
“This project is creating local jobs, and right now that is of great importance to the city,” Cr Schier said.
Ms Nolan said the project was another step in the right direction in meeting Government priorities by encouraging the community to get fit and healthy, decreasing congestion and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.