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Future Tairawhiti committee supports faster work on cycle-walkways

THE Future Tairawhiti committee yesterday supported a call to speed up the extension of the cycle-walkway network in the area between Bright and Grey streets.

The committee, which consists of the full district council, was discussing an update on the cycleways programme.

Amber Dunn said she had understood that the Bright Street section was to have been the next to be funded but it seemed to have slipped down the priority list.

Chief executive Judy Campbell said that the first part of the section between Bright Street and Grey Street was on council land and would be relatively easy to upgrade.

The other section to Grey Street running behind the former gasworks site was on land that was privately owned and negotiations with land agents to purchase it had not succceeded.

She said she had recently ridden her bike on the section in front of the St John Ambulance building and it was rutted and dangerous.

Proceeding with section to Grey StThe committee agreed to instruct Mrs Campbell to proceed with the section to Grey Street.

The council has allocated $12 million to implement the cycleways programme over the period of the 2015-2015 long term-plan.

Projects in the programme included the recently completed Beacon Street extension, the urban cycleway from Wainui through Kaiti to the Central Business District, and the Taruhere River Cycle and Walkway, where works are currently planned to start in 2019/20, the committee was told.

Committee members expressed disappointment that stage two of the Wainui to city cycleway had still not gone ahead. Brian Wilson said this had taken two years so far, which was ridiculous.

Mrs Campbell said the delay was caused because the New Zealand Transport Agency, which was funding this section, had not been able to reach agreeent with a landowner on the sale of land required for the cycleway.

The committee also received an update on the proposed Taruheru cycle and walkway.

The council has allocated $70,000 for a feasibility study to explore a pathway beside the Taruheru River instead of the present route, which would run along Aberdeen Road.

The council noted both updates.