The number of cyclists using the Ngaruawahia section of the Te Awa Great New Zealand River Ride has risen by 535% since the Perry Bridge was opened.

The average weekly usage has risen from 133 up to 711 since the bridge was completed last November.

The Brian Perry Charitable Trust contributed $500,000 toward the cost of the bridge which is located south of Ngaruawahia.

“We’re delighted that so many cyclists and pedestrians are now using the bridge,” said Simon Perry.

“It’s fantastic for more locals and communities to have access to the river that is right on their doorstep, and we know that the bridge is encouraging more tourists onto the ride as well,” he said.

The bridge allowed for an 8 kilometre extension of the river ride from Ngaruawahia through to Horotiu.

The Perry vision for the Te Awa Great New Zealand River Ride is that it becomes an integral part of a tourism and community corridor of activity that celebrates the best of the Waikato region.

“The River Ride is a critical part of our thinking when it comes to developing our residential and commercial development of Te Awa Lakes in Horotiu,” explained Mr Perry. “We want to create communities where residents and visitors can live, work, and play all in one master-planned area.”

The Perry Group plan for Te Awa Lakes includes up to 1500 new residential houses as well as an adventure park.