4000 cycle city harbour bridge
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.