New shared path­way pop­u­lar with walk­ers in Horowhenua

Walking New Zealand - - New Zealand Walk | Need 2 Know -

Anew Shared Path­way along Ara­paepae Road in Levin is prov­ing pop­u­lar with walk­ers and cy­clists in Horowhenua.

The path­way, which runs from Queen Street to Mead­ow­vale Drive, was com­pleted in May and marks the first stage of con­struc­tion of a net­work of Shared Path­ways through­out Horowhenua.

Horowhenua Dis­trict Coun­cil’s Shared Path­ways Project Man­ager, Therese Bar­ber, said the new path­way is al­ready be­ing well used, in­clud­ing form­ing part of this year’s cross coun­try course for Waiopehu Col­lege.

The Shared Path­ways project aims to con­nect the com­mu­ni­ties of Horowhenua along a net­work of safe and ac­ces­si­ble walk­ing and cy­cling paths.

“Shared Path­ways will make it eas­ier for peo­ple to get out, ex­er­cise, and en­joy the recre­ational as­sets and scenic beauty our dis­trict has to of­fer,” Ms Bar­ber said.

The net­work will pro­gres­sively build on ex­ist­ing path­ways and trails to link the Dis­trict’s ma­jor com­mu­ni­ties; in­cor­po­rate coastal re­serves, rivers, moun­tains and lakes; and link Horowhenua with sim­i­lar path­way net­works in neigh­bour­ing districts.

Ms Bar­ber said Shared Path­ways will bring nu­mer­ous ben­e­fits.

“These path­ways will sup­port peo­ple’s fit­ness and health, im­prove safety for vul­ner­a­ble road users, and en­hance con­nec­tions among the highlights of Horowhenua’s cul­tural and environmental land­scape. They will also show­case our dis­trict for do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional tourism by even­tu­ally con­nect­ing with Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cy­cle Trail, and Te Araroa, the na­tional walk­way.”

Coun­cil al­lo­cated fund­ing for the Shared Path­ways net­work for the 2017/18 fi­nan­cial year af­ter con­sul­ta­tion on the An­nual Plan showed pub­lic sup­port for the project, and fur­ther fund­ing was ob­tained from the New Zealand Trans­port Agency to ex­pand the project and en­hance safety along busy roads.

Ms Bar­ber said a num­ber of po­ten­tial routes have been iden­ti­fied, and work on the next stages of the project will be­gin soon.

“The cur­rent fo­cus is on in­ves­ti­gat­ing safe path­ways from Levin’s ur­ban ar­eas to the moun­tains, and con­nect­ing the Trig Walk­way to the Ōhau River,” she said.

“There will also be a Shared Path­way along Palmer Road at Fox­ton Beach, with the in­tent to con­nect Cousins Av­enue Re­serve, Hol­ben Re­serve and the Sun­set Walk­way in a fan­tas­tic 8km loop trail.”

Pre­lim­i­nary work on the next stages of the Shared Path­ways net­work is ex­pected to be­gin in spring, when weather al­lows, on Palmer Road.

Above: The new path­way.

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