Path to Ashhurst bridge back on the agenda

Last updated 12:00 10/12/2013

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Plans to complete the Manawatu Riverside path from Maxwells Line in Palmerston North to the Ashhurst bridge are back on track, with a possible extension at the upstream end.

An extra $394,000 to complete the project by mid-2015 was recommended for approval by the Palmerston North City Council's finance and performance committee yesterday.

Deputy mayor and keen cyclist Jim Jefferies said the council had to provide the extra money to ensure the track's completion.

A 6.6-kilometre piece is missing from Te Matai to Raukawa Rd, while the link from Te Matai Rd to Riverside Drive will follow the road reserve, not the river, at least in the short term.

"To leave it half complete is the last thing we would want," he said.

And Cr Jefferies said the logical extension of the path would be to create a safe link from its termination at the Ashhurst bridge to the Ashhurst Domain and cafe, and to the village centre.

"It's about destination cycling, which needs access to a cafe.

"The reverse of that is to provide people from Ashhurst a way to get to Palmerston North, both as a recreational and commuter option."

The majority of councillors supported the call to have the extension investigated and referred to the 2014-15 Annual Plan for consideration.

If adopted by the full council, the raft of recommendations will see up to $70,000 spent widening the Buick Cres bottleneck on the track, the sale of a house on Te Matai Rd that was bought to secure access to the river bank, and progress this summer on the Raukawa Rd to Te Matai Rd link.

The committee has also noted that investigations are under way on proposals for a shared cycling and walking path from the Fitzherbert Bridge to Linton.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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