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Great Harbour Way needs political commitment NOW

Cr Wade-Brown says "Let's look at the Great Harbour Way and plan for its implementation sooner than later."

A wide scenic route from Wellington to Hutt would be terrific for recreation and commuting.

It's shameful that tourists coming off the ferry from South Island can't cycle or walk along our magnificent harbour in either direction.

Wellington has a lovely waterfront and Petone's foreshore is attractive but there is an ABYSS between.

Family groups could walk or cycle at the weekend and it would be great for runners and cyclists who commute between Wellington and the Hutt Valley but hate being squeezed by trucks along SH2.

Increasing the number of runners and cyclists who commute is a brilliant way to increase people's daily activity. Lack of physical activity is a key cause of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.*

The lack of facilities along SH2 must embarrass Transit and shows up the lack of spending on active modes compared to facilities for trucks and cars. The high fuel prices are here to stay and local Councils and Transit have a duty to enable people choosing healthier, cheaper modes to have a better chance of surviving.

Celia Wade-Brown has walked and cycled the existing pathetic route and would never recommend it to locals or visitors. Given the horror of cycling along SH2 now, either on the sub-standard cycleway or the shoulder, it's illogical to use the current numbers as a reason not to do something. Of course there are few cyclists and runners compared to drivers at the moment. Even with higher fuel prices, people don't trade off their safety.

The Great Harbour Way would be a wide dual use path that could safely be shared by walkers and cyclists. Fast confident cyclists should have a good facility on the road itself.

She's sure that the Great Harbour Way will be brought up in August's consultation on Wellington's Walking and Cycling Plans.

"I will be working to ensure that budget will be committed by Hutt and Wellington City Councils, Greater Wellington and the new NZ Transport Authority. The coming round of Long Term Council Community Plans is the right place for a serious commitment to sustainable and enjoyable transport choices."

She believes that the path's construction could also protect the rail corridor from possible coastal erosion.

"The Great Harbour Way is a brilliant opportunity to combine public health, recreation, tourism, and affordable eco-friendly transport in one exciting package!" enthuses the keen walker and cyclist.

* http://www.dietandcancerreport.org


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