The commission advocates for shared pathways as a part of our support for active transport and outdoor recreation. Shared pathways for cyclists, walkers, horse riders and other active transport users help connect communities to shops, schools, recreational areas and other local resources. They also connect people and make for stronger communities. Shared paths must be well designed so that walkers, bikers, e-bikers, horse riders and others can all share the space safely.
The commission's role is securing legal access for walking and biking trails. We are not funded to build or maintain tracks. Trail building groups are required to follow track design and safety standards set by the relevant agency, such as councils or the Department of Conservation. These standards ensure that walkers and bike riders can share the same space.
When we secure new public access we attempt to include cycling access and access for other forms of active transport into the terms of the easement, where it is viable. This reflects the Minister's directive to incorporate cycling access into the work we do. Sometimes this is not possible — sometimes the terrain or the circumstances will not make a shared pathway safe or appropriate. But, where it is appropriate, shared pathways are our preferred option.