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Thursday
Mar172011

Cycleway (4)

The latest move as revealed by Mayor Leach to members of Thames Rotary yesterday is that the Kopu - Thames section of the Cycleway is actually the Kopu - Totara section. He stated that the section will terminate at Totara and not carry on into Thames, other than on existing paths.

This does raise the question as to just how much support can be expected from Thames for such a shortened version. Incidentally, it also raises questions as to just how thorough was the consultants report presented at the 2 March Council, and reported  in my post dated 3 March - Cycleway (3), that failed to make mention of any intention to terminate at Totara, or the Kauaeranga Bridge. The consultant - Chris Adams of Miles Media, enthusiastically endorsed the Cycleway, along with increasing the proposed TCDC contribution from $450,000 to $500,000.

I am unaware of any consideration having been given this change at Board or Council level, though of course it could easily have been discussed within another 'closed door' Workshop. But it is easy to speculate that the change revealed by the Mayor has occured as a result of a realistic assessment of the health and safety aspects of bringing the actual Cycleway over the Kauaeranga Bridge - a problem that I outlined in my first post on the subject on 9 December. 

Concerns on mixing cyclists with mussel  and timber trucks along with all the other traffic on that bridge weren rubbished at the time, but Blind Ned could see that this was always going to be a challenge. It was discussed with Transport  NZ over a year ago who indicated that the cost of a dedicated parallel bridge for cyclists would be over $1m, and that they would not not pay it. They indicated at the time that a 'clip-on' was not possible, though I don't believe any reason was provided. 

My concern now is that it appears that our Mayor at least, and presumably the bureaucrats involved are planning to create an artificial 'official' terminus at Totara, and thus leave cyclists to cover the remainder of the distance into Thames at their own risk.

Or perhaps thay are planning to promote the undoubted attractions of Totara as an alternative to Thames for those who are unwilling to risk life and limb on the Kauaeranga Bridge?

I hope that the Mayor simply got it wrong, but suspect otherwise - Mayor Tregidga seems to be unaware of any such change. Wherever the truth lies, the problem of the Kauaeranga Bridge will not go away - it will remain to frustrate Thames becoming a terminus, unless someone can come up with a spare $1m., or some other way of getting cyclists across the river, safely.

 

 

 

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