Trail opening marks future pathway's beginning

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 11:31 02/12/2013

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The first stretch of a plan to link Palmerston North to Ashhurst via a riverside pathway has become a reality.

A 3.2-kilometre stretch of the proposed cycleway was opened on Saturday at an event well-attended by adults and children keen to be among the first to use it.

Known as the first stage of the Manawatu River Pathway extension, the trail follows the river from the Ashhurst Bridge to Raukawa Rd.

The track was opened, and then ridden, by Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor, who said it was a good example of what could happen when the council and community worked together. "I'm looking forward to this trail going all the way to Palmerston North," he said.

The trail would allow people to get out to Ashhurst to explore what the town had to offer, he said.

It would also link to a planned cycle and pedestrian bridge over the Manawatu River towards the Manawatu Gorge.

The section of trail was the first of three stages that would create a pathway along the right bank of the Manawatu River from Ashhurst Bridge to Riverside Drive, where the existing 10km-long section of the pathway ends.

When the next two stages are completed over the next couple of years they will combine to form a continuous three-metre-wide shared pathway for over 22km from Ashhurst to Maxwells Line in the west of Palmerston North, allowing access to parts of the bank that in some cases will be the first since European settlement.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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