The ‘nerves of steel’ cy­cle­way

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

‘‘You would have to have nerves of steel to ride this road,’’ Hutt City Mayor Ray Wal­lace says as he cy­cles ner­vously from Pe­tone along State High­way 2 to Horokiwi, where the Pe­toneN­gau­ranga cy­cle­way-foot­path ends, about a kilo­me­tre from Pe­tone.

The track was com­plete un­til the 1970s, when its north end was sac­ri­ficed to make way for a merge lane for south­bound Es­planade and Hutt Rd ve­hi­cles join­ing State High­way 2.

Since then, south­bound cy­clists, run­ners and walk­ers have been forced to use the high­way shoul­der for part of their jour­ney to Ngau­ranga.

Mr Wal­lace de­scribed ex­pe­ri­ence as ‘‘hor­rific’’.

‘‘It felt like a near-death ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ he said.

‘‘Will I be rac­ing to do it again to­mor­row? ‘‘Ab­so­lutely no way. ‘‘This is the only di­rect road from the Hutt [to Welling­ton], so

the it should be for cars, cy­clists and walk­ers.’’

Welling­ton Mayor Celia WadeBrown also checked out the in­com­plete cy­cle­way-foot­path.

‘‘ Peo­ple [ cy­clists] are tak­ing their lives in their own hands,’’ she said.

The only al­ter­na­tive route for walk­ers is via Porirua, Pau­ata­hanui and Hay­wards Rd, she said.

‘‘The New Zealand Trans­port Agency should be bring­ing it for­ward as soon as pos­si­ble and I hope we get sup­port from the re­gional trans­port com­mit­tee,’’ she said.

Restor­ing the bro­ken path is one of the mea­sures pro­posed for the next 10 years in the draft Hutt Cor­ri­dor Plan, cur­rently open for pub­lic sub­mis­sions.

An op­tion un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­cludes im­prov­ing the ex­ist­ing off-road cy­cle­way, a con­nec­tion across the rail­way and a new of­froad fa­cil­ity on the seaward side to Pe­tone, at a pro­jected cost of $14 mil­lion.

Other mea­sures of in­ter­est to cy­clists and walk­ers in the 10-year plan are an up­grade to the Hutt River trail be­tween Pe­tone and Up­per Hutt, a new cy­cle and walk­way be­tween Up­per Hutt busi­ness area and schools, and a ‘‘beach-to-bush’’ walk and cy­cle­way in Pe­tone.

Among the pro­posed pub­lic trans­port ex­pen­di­ture items are im­proved train sta­tions, more park-and-ride spaces, re­fur­bished or re­placed Ganz-Mavag trains and a re­view of Hutt Val­ley bus, train and har­bour ferry ser­vices.

Road­works in­clude a $ 40m in­ter­change at the Hay­ward­sS­tate High­way 2 in­ter­sec­tion, a new Pe­tone-to-Gre­nada high­way, traf­fic flow im­prove­ments to Pe­tone Es­planade, the West­ern Hutt Road, State High­way 58 and Grays Rd.

Work planned more fur­ther ahead than 10 years in­cludes rail­way im­prove­ments, safety up­grades on State High­way 58, in­ter­changes at Melling and Kennedy Good bridges, and mak­ing Up­per Hutt’s River Rd four lanes be­tween Sil­ver­stream and Moon­shine Bridge.

Sub­mis­sions on the draft Hutt Cor­ri­dor Plan close at 4pm on Wed­nes­day, June 15.

For a copy of the plan or for more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.gw.govt.nz/ huttcor­ri­dor­plan, or in per­son, visit a lo­cal li­brary or Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil’s of­fice at 142 Wake­field St, Welling­ton, or call 0800 496 734.

Photo: JIM CHIPP

Clos­ing the gaps: Welling­ton Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Hutt City Mayor Ray Wal­lace are keen to see the un­fin­ished one-way cy­cle­way be­tween Pe­tone and Ngau­ranga com­pleted.

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