City to beach path­way mooted

The Horowhenua Mail - - FRONT PAGE - SAMKILMISTER

A pro­posal to ex­tend the Palmer­ston North to Long­burn path­way to cre­ate a route from city to sea has been sub­mit­ted.

The shared walk­ing and cy­cle­way would ex­tend the path by 31 kilo­me­tres to Hi­matangi Beach. The Bai­nesse and Dis­tricts Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Trust put the plan to the Manawatu District Coun­cil for con­sid­er­a­tion in its An­nual Plan.

It has also been sent to the Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil.

The path­way has been on the trust’s wish­list for sev­eral years.

Trustee Colleen Shel­don said a fea­si­bil­ity report into the project would cost $12,000. She hoped the bur­den would be shared equally be­tween the two coun­cils.

‘‘While the lo­ca­tion is within the Manawatu district bound­ary, Hi­matangi is most def­i­nitely the coastal play­ground of res­i­dents in Palmer­ston North city with its dis­tance a 30-minute drive from the cen­tre of the city,’’ she said.

‘‘En­abling those cy­clists and walk­ers as well as families to have a choice of con­tin­u­ing to their beach will bring value to many.’’

Shel­don said the off-road path­way would fol­low the old rail­way be­tween Long­burn and Hi­matangi. The route was used to trans­port pas­sen­gers and freight be­tween Palmer­ston North and the port at Fox­ton, be­fore the train ceased op­er­a­tions in 1959. While the tracks have been lifted the metal base re­mains.

‘‘The pro­posed de­vel­op­ment is rel­a­tively flat, en­abling the [walk­way] to be utilised by all ages and ac­ces­si­ble for most fit­ness lev­els.

‘‘The greater Manawatu re­gion need tracks wor­thy of list­ing within New Zealand Cy­cle Trails.’’

Shel­don said the trail would take users on an ex­plo­ration through some of Manawatu’s premier his­tory.

It would fol­low the old rail line through Karere, Ti­ak­i­tahuna, past the his­toric Te Rangi­marie Marae and on to the town­ship of Ran­giotu. Along the way would be the old Ran­giotu post of­fice and the World War I United States army camp.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Paul Stein said the Manawatu District Coun­cil could not com­ment on the fea­si­bil­ity of the project be­cause the sub­mis­sion re­gard­ing the ex­ten­sion was still un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ

An ex­ten­sion of the Palmer­ston North to Long­burn path is un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.

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