4000 cy­cle city har­bour bridge

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - STAFF RE­PORTER

Cy­clists took over the Auck­land Har­bour Bridge on Sun­day morn­ing for the an­nual Bike the Bridge event.

About 4000 peo­ple of all ages ped­alled over the bridge as lanes were closed from 6am un­til 10am.

There was re­newed en­thu­si­asm for this year’s event, with the SkyPath cy­cle­way/walk­way now hav­ing the green light from the En­vi­ron­ment Court.

En­try costs for the event were $49 for an adult or $35 for a ju­nior, with funds raised for the Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis So­ci­ety.

Par­tic­i­pants were rid­ing ei­ther the 22km round trip or one-way route north or south. There was also an op­tion of do­ing a 4km fam­ily loop.

The full ride started and fin­ished at Smales Farm on the North Shore, head­ing across the bridge to Har­bour Park in Westhaven and back.

Auck­land Trans­port warned mo­torists to ex­pect de­lays on the bridge in the morn­ing, with most lanes blocked off.

On Novem­ber 2 the SkyPath, the har­bour bridge’s pro­posed walk­ing and cy­cling route, passed a fi­nal le­gal hur­dle in the En­vi­ron­ment Court.

En­vi­ron­ment Court Prin­ci­pal Judge Ne­whook found in favour of Auck­land Coun­cil’s July 2015 de­ci­sion to grant re­source con­sent for the SkyPath against the ap­peal of a res­i­dents’ group.

The North­cote Point Her­itage Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety’s ob­jected to the SkyPath’s re­source con­sent on the grounds that its pa­tron­age num­bers and open­ing hours were un­rea­son­able for the North­cote Point sub­ur­ban streets where it would exit.

SkyPath Trust project direc­tor Be­van Wood­ward said there were no fur­ther le­gal bar­ri­ers he was aware of ob­struct­ing the SkyPath be­ing built. ‘‘We’re re­ally ex­cited, this is a very sig­nif­i­cant step for­ward,’’ Wood­ward said.

‘‘The de­tails are now, in terms of get­ting on with de­tailed de­sign and fi­nal­is­ing the fund­ing ar­range­ments, that will come down to agree­ment with Auck­land Coun­cil.’’ Wood­ward said, all things go­ing well, the SkyPath Trust would be look­ing to be­gin con­struc­tion mid-2017 with a com­ple­tion date around 10 months later.

‘‘These are my best guesses and I’m gen­er­ally op­ti­mistic and things do take longer than ex­pected but this devel­op­ment to­day is very very sig­nif­i­cant,’’ Wood­ward said.

Some of the cy­clists head­ing over to the North Shore.

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