The Christchurch City Council is developing a network of 13 Major Cycle Routes linking shopping centres, businesses, schools, parks and popular recreation destinations all across Christchurch.

Survey results

With a number of cycleways now open we have done some work to assess how effective they have been so far. 

94% of people feel safer riding on cycleways

50% of cyclists surveyed were travelling to work

15% of cyclists surveyed would have travelled by car before the cycleways

We surveyed 625 cyclists riding on the new cycleways late last year to see who they were, why they were biking and whether the cycleways were improving their experience. 

  • 51% said they were travelling to work, 21% were riding for fun or exercise and 6% were shopping
  • 40% were female and 60% male
  • 94% said they felt safer or more comfortable on the new cycleways

We asked how they would have made the same trip before the cycleway was built:

  • 15% would have travelled by car before the cycleways were built
  • 35% would have biked the same way
  • 43% would have taken a different route

Cycle counts

Some of the cycleways are on existing cycle routes and some are new routes. Encouragingly the numbers are growing across all the routes and all are above the projected numbers before the routes were built.

Cycle counts are available on Smartview(external link)

papanui cycle way

Why we are investing in cycleways

Christchurch already has a strong cycling community – it helps when you’re a mostly flat city – but there is still more we could do to encourage people to travel by bike. Using a bike to get around has some really great benefits, both for the individual and for the city.

  • Healthier and more productive people
    Research shows that people who travel by bike take fewer sick days and active children are able to focus better at school.
  • Stronger local communities
    People who travel by bike tend to stop to shop more often and spend more money over time. They also save money on their commute, which can be used elsewhere.
  • Reduced congestion
    Congestion costs people time. It only takes a small number of people using different transport options to make a significant difference to traffic flow. 
  • Reduced cost for ratepayers
    A large proportion of road funding goes towards fixing the wear and tear that motor vehicles cause to roads. As a lightweight vehicle, the contribution of cycles to this damage is negligible. They also take up less room, reducing the need to build new roads as the population grows. 

What the Major Cycle Routes look like 

The Major Cycle Routes are different from the existing cycleways around the city. They have special features that help make cycling a safe, convenient and enjoyable experience. They’re also designed to encourage new groups of people to try getting around by bike.

Development of the Major Cycle Routes

How community input helped shape plans to restore Christchurch's reputation as a cycle city.

May 2011

Share an Idea

People said they wanted the Council to invest in cycle paths to provide more choice and safer routes for people travelling to work, study or play through Share an Idea(external link)

Share an Idea(external link)

November 2012

Christchurch Transport Strategic Plan

Christchurch Transport Strategic PlanThe Christchurch Transport Strategic Plan(external link) set out a 30-year vision for transport in the city, including a range of transport options to meet the needs of the community. It proposed a city-wide cycle network which includes 13 major Cycle Routes to provide safe, convenient connections between the Central City, suburbs, business and shopping centres as well as popular recreational areas. 

April 2013

Cycle Design Guidelines

Christchurch Cycle Design GuidelinesTo help determine the look, feel and function of the new cycleways, Cycle Design Guidelines(external link) were developed.

October 2014


Urban Cycleways Programme

Many projects are being funded as part of the Urban Cycleways Programme(external link) (UCP), made up of shared investment from the Urban Cycleways Fund, the National Land Transport Fund and local councils. 

The UCP enables key, high-value urban cycling projects to get underway around the country over the next three years, while improving cycle safety and supporting more connected cycle networks.

It means the Council will deliver $65 million of the $156 million programme in the three years up to 30 June 2018 for a local investment of $23.5 million.  The Urban Cycleways Fund contributes $19.04 million and there is potential for a further $22.57 million from the National Land Transport Fund.