City to beach pathway mooted
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.
An extension of the Palmerston North to Longburn path is under consideration.