Active Timaru loves its paths

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 08:32 19/02/2013
george and helen payne
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ
SCENIC STROLL: The Timaru District Council aims to have 80 per cent of the district's people walking regularly this year.

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The council will be pleased: we are even more active than they hoped.

The Timaru District Council aims to have 80 per cent of residents walking regularly, and 30 per cent riding bikes, in the 2012/13 year.

And we are. A survey from the last six months of 2012 shows 81 per cent like a regular walk and 35 per cent are getting on their bikes.

When we're not walking or cycling, at least some are taking a bus, with 20 per cent saying they use public transport - 5 per cent more than the council was hoping for.

Because so many of us are walking it is probably just as well we are so positive about our paths; 83 per cent were satisfied with the level of footpath maintenance. That was up 4 per cent on the previous survey, and also above the council's self imposed standard of 80 per cent satisfaction.

What has slipped back in recent months is the length of footpath being resealed each year. The council's own standard calls for a minimum of 16 kilometres to be resurfaced annually, but only 1.83km was achieved in the July to December period. The 2011/12 results weren't flash either with only 5.25km being resurfaced. The trenching work required for the installation of ultrafast broadband is being blamed.

While footpaths generally get a tick, it's a case of could-do-better when it comes to unsealed roads. Of those surveyed who live on an unsealed road, only 73 per cent believed it was fit for purpose and well maintained; 77 per cent of those living on sealed roads were happy with them. In both cases the council sought a 75 per cent satisfaction rate.

Overall, 91 per cent of those surveyed were satisfied with road safety, surpassing the council's goal of 85 per cent.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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