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Cycle strategy thumbs up

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

A mountain bike park and a cycle trail network from the Waipoua River to Eketahuna may be part of an updated cycle strategy for Masterton.

A new cycling strategy for Masterton is set to go out for public consultation after it was approved by the district council’s Community Wellbeing Committee this week.

It is the first updated strategy for the district since 2009, and included proposed solutions to getting more people on bikes in Masterton.

Recommended projects include a Lansdowne Mountain Bike Park at the Kitchener St Reserve, which is pending design options, a progression of trails spanning from the Waipoua Bridge to Eketahuna, a Three Rivers Trail, and a Mt Holdsworth Mountain Bike Park.

These projects would complement ongoing consideration of cyclists’ needs in terms of new roading, bridge replacement, realignment, and other roading works.

Cr Gary Caffell described the updated cycle strategy as “very worthwhile” and said the more council can promote cycling, the better.

“I think we’re a superb region for cycling, not only in the urban areas, but the rural areas, and I think it’s quite an exciting strategy,” he said.

The Lansdowne Mountain Bike Park is described in the Rural Trails Network Plan as a “ready-to-go project” with an estimated budget of $65,000, and will have about 6 ha of area for its use.

The cycle trail network from Waipoua to Eketahuna will be broken into four stages being (with some having cost estimates) Waipoua River Loop ($220,000); Opaki Vineyard Trail ($400,000); Pukaha Wildlife Trail; NZCT-Nga Haerenga Heartland Ride.

The wider Masterton cycle strategy states that the council would work with Carterton and South Wairarapa districts with a view of ensuring all strategies are consistent with one another and with the Greater Wellington Regional Land Transport Plan 2015.

Cr Chris Peterson said working in collaboration with other councils was an “absolute imperative – and it has to happen soon”.

“We need to have a collaborative approach to this,” he said.

Masterton District Council now has a total of $256,000 tagged in the Long-Term Plan over the next two years to develop the Rural Trails Network, but is also considering external funding.

Data was collated for the strategy showing crash and injury data involving cyclists in Masterton’s urban area between 2000 and 2014.

In these years, there were no fatalities, 17 serious injuries, 97 minor injuries, and 35 reported non-injury crashes.

The report stated that no individual locations were highlighted as “particularly hazardous”, though more crashes did occur at locations with higher traffic flow.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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