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Eastern Suburbs Walking And Cycling Route On Track For Completion

A walking and cycling path that connects Auckland’s eastern suburbs to the city centre is a significant step closer, with funding now approved to complete the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive Shared Path.

The shared path is being delivered by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport in four separate sections. Sections 1 and 3 are already open and the Transport Agency and Auckland Transport boards have now approved funding to complete the last two sections. Section 2 will be delivered by Waka Kotahi, with Section 4 delivered by Auckland Transport.

The shared path will connect with and expand the Auckland Cycle Network. It aligns with the long-term vision of the Transport Agency, AT and Auckland Council to build world class cycling infrastructure that promotes cycling as a safe and convenient transport choice.

The Transport Agency’s Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray says that this critical route has been on the books since 2015 and the community and other users will be thrilled with the news that full funding has now been agreed.

“As well as linking the eastern suburbs with the city, the route connects to train stations and also allows people to enjoy more of the natural environment in the area as it goes through the Pourewa Valley. We also know that connections like this create opportunities for local links and increase the numbers of people who get around their local community on their bike.”

Tendering for construction of Section 2 from St Johns Road to Orakei Basin is under way, with work expected to start by the middle of this year. The cost of design, consenting and construction of Section 2 is $55m.

A resource consent is required for Section 4 from Orakei Basin to Tamaki Drive, and this process will be under way shortly, with people able to give feedback on the path design and alignment.

“We want to deliver both sections at approximately the same time by the end of 2022 to provide a safe, continuous connection all the way to Tamaki Drive, and connect to cycling routes into the central city and to the eastern bays.”

The 4m-wide path will be 7km long, with low gradients for people to walk and cycle.

“We expect the shared path will become one of the city’s most scenic bike routes and popular with commuters and others using the path for fitness and recreation,” Mr Thackwray says.

Auckland Transport’s Portfolio Delivery Director (projects), David Nelson says the funding is a big win for the community and the wider Auckland cycle network.

“Now we’ve been given the green light to complete the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive shared path, we can give Aucklanders yet another safe connection in our cycle network. Along with the construction of the Tamaki Drive, Victoria Street and Karangahape Road cycleways, this project is another example of how AT is working hard this year to ensure our communities have safe, connected ways to walk, run and ride a bike around our city”.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff welcomes the funding announcement.

“This funding means we can significantly bring forward construction of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive Shared Path. Along with the Tamaki Drive upgrade that started this month, there will be a safe cycling and walking connection from Glen Innes into the city centre, and from there to Massey/Westgate on the recently extended Northwestern cycleway.

“Creating safe and well-connected cycling and walking routes encourages more people to ride bikes as part of their regular commuting, which helps reduce traffic congestion on our roads and lowers carbon emissions.”

Ōrākei Ward Councillor, Desley Simpson says “This has been a priority project for the area for a long time. Funding developments of this size are never easy but the agreements that have been finally reached by all the agencies involved, including Auckland Council, means money is definitely confirmed. The final stages of the project can now start, and the end is in sight for people to have a safe, attractive, active transport alternative linking the city, though Orakei. A great result.”

Ōrākei Local Board Chair, Scott Milne says it’s a big win for the local community.

“Our community eagerly awaits progress on the Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive Cycleway. We are home to many keen cyclists and this path really will improve connectivity across our local board area particularly when combined with north south links.”

Bike Auckland, the non-profit cycling advocacy organisation, says when completed the path will form a vital eastern counterpart to the extremely popular Northwestern Cycleway.

Bike Auckland’s communications manager Jolisa Gracewood says Aucklanders have been holding their breath for this path since it was first announced.

“There’s such pent-up demand for safe and connected routes, we know people will flock to this path into town and across the valley, for the school run, daily commutes, recreational rides and all kinds of trips. So it’s a relief to see funding confirmed, we can’t wait to see shovels in the ground, and we’ll truly exhale when we can ride the full route on opening day.”

The Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive Shared Path will be a direct link from the eastern suburbs to the upgraded Tamaki Drive Cycle Route, which is one of the busiest cycle routes to the city. From there, people will be able to access other routes on the city’s connected cycle network including the Northern Pathway across the Auckland Harbour Bridge to the city’s northern suburbs.

© Scoop Media

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