The decision to scuttle any more cycleway and walkway construction has been given the thumbs-down by a Queenstown group.

The Lightfoot Initiative founder Amanda Robinson says the decision by Transport Minister Simeon Brown to not grant any more money to cycleways or walkways is a real step backwards.

Brown had written to NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi last month saying cycling and walkway initiatives were a waste of time and money.

The Lightfoot Initiative’s a registered charity set up to reimagine transport use for the individual, community and the planet.

Robinson says cycleways are critical for getting people on cycles, and Otago’s the best region in the country for cycle trails.

But in saying that she says there are still massive gaps in the network, and that didn’t help getting people onto bikes.

‘‘For every dollar that is spent on cycleways you would, in terms of recreation and community benefits, get it paid back 100-fold,’’ she says.

‘‘There are multiple benefits, not just the obvious ones, like climate change — getting people out on their bikes, all the health benefits, giving them confidence.

‘‘We’re not talking here about creating some cycling Utopia, creating something out of Scandinavia where everyone was out on their bike.’’

But there needs to be more options for cyclists, and having off-road cycleways isexciting for bike users, she says.

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