Golf club sees holes in cycle path plan

FOUR: Golfers will need to get their calls ready if new cycle lane through Berhampore Golf Course gets green light.
FOUR: Golfers will need to get their calls ready if new cycle lane through Berhampore Golf Course gets green light.

Golfers are concerned that plans to put a cycle lane through Wellington's city council-owned golf course will put riders in danger.

The council is in the midst of choosing a preferred route for a cycle path from Island Bay to the central city. One of the options at the southern end would take it through Berhampore Golf Course and Martin Luckie Park.

Ray Tuffin, president of Mornington Golf Club, which is based at the Berhampore course, said the idea of sending cyclists through the course was dangerous, as cyclists moved too quickly for golfers to react to their presence.

"You see someone walking you wait, but when you have got bikes coming out at quite a large speed... the ball's already gone, so there's quite a large danger."

It was completely unsuitable to send cyclists through a community sports facility, he said, expressing frustration that the local community had not been consulted before now.

"It's been so rushed through that common sense has gone out the window."

Golf club members are holding a public meeting next week to raise concerns about the plans.

Council safe and sustainable transport manager Paul Barker said it was too early to discuss options with the community, because too many factors were uncertain. The Island Bay section would head along The Parade, but after that it became a lot more difficult to choose a route.

Three general directions were being looked at - Adelaide Rd; a western route through Wakefield Park, Stanley St, McAlister Park and Hanson St; and an eastern route through the golf course and Martin Luckie Park, on to Rintoul and Riddiford streets.

Early estimates put the cost of the western route at $8.1 million, Adelaide Rd $7.6m, and the eastern route $10.7m - but the figures varied widely depending on the level of parking that was affected, the type of lane provided, and more detailed route work.

Within each of the three options, there were at least five more choices, Barker said.

"There is no single route that stands out as being the preferred option."

But with car parking for residents being affected, there were always going to be dissatisfied parties, he said.

"Everything's about trade-offs."

Community consultation would begin next month to identify the best option for wider feedback.

If it did go through the golf course it would "ideally" stay well away from fairways, he said.

Whatever was decided would set the precedent for other cycle paths planned around the city.

The Dominion Post