tens of thousands of tourists he expects to visit long-term as a result of the initiative.
I'll believe that when i see it.
"That was really a big part of the idea behind the cycleway, to open up the countryside and bits of NZ that are harder to access and people hardly ever go to."
So it's going in places no one ever goes anyway. Great idea - no one will ever find out what a waste of money it is, because, although it will be empty, no one will see it.
Green Party MP Kevin Hague, who rode 30km from Cambridge for the sod turning, said[...] "If visiting overseas cyclists feel unsafe riding on our roads their enthusiasm for our cycle trail back home will be muted at best."
Except for people that already cycle on the road currently. For which the cycleway adds nothing a road wouldn't.
Mr Hague said cycle trail projects were highly successful overseas, with 386 million journeys recorded last year on the UK National Cycle Network.
Let's have a look at the UK network. From Wikipedia:
Many routes hope to minimise contact with motor traffic
So it isn't in places no one used to go. It is providing a facility for people who already were using the routes.
70% of them are on roads
Yes, you read that right. John Key's cycleway is being justified by how many people use Roads. I don't know about the NZ Herald's so-called journalists, but to me this says a cycleway is unnecessary, brings no benefits, and is totally the wrong way to go if you want to attract tourists and make life easier for cyclists.