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Middle Renwick Road Cycle Lanes Get Green Light

The project by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Marlborough District Council to extend on-road cycle lanes along Middle Renwick Road in Blenheim has got the green light following public consultation. The project is designed to increase cycling facilities and improve cycle safety by extending cycle lanes on Middle Renwick Road (State Highway 6) between Murphys Road/Battys Road roundabout and the Westwood Business Park.

Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says these new cycling lanes will help to encourage more people on to their bikes helping to reduce congestion, provide better urban liveability and reduce land transport greenhouse gas emissions.

“As part of creating a successful multi-modal transport system we are working with our partners to offer a safer, more accessible and attractive network for cycling so that more New Zealanders can choose to get about by bike,” Ms Speight says.

“This is an important part of completing Blenheim’s urban cycle network around the urban areas of Blenheim,” said Councillor Michael Fitzpatrick, who chairs Council’s Bike Walk Advisory Group.

“The new cycle lanes will connect to the existing cycle lanes to the east between Boyce Street and Murphys Road/Battys Road, and the cycle bypass at the Westwood Ave roundabout, filling a gap in the network and improving connectivity for cyclists.”

“Between 2015 and 2019, there were sixteen crashes on this section of road, with six involving cyclists.”

Public consultation was carried out from 16 November to 14 December last year, seeking feedback on the proposed design from local residents, businesses and the wider community. Fifty five submissions were received.

Key changes to the design resulting from public consultation include:

· Adding two additional two-metre wide indented parking bays, outside 157B and 163 Middle Renwick Road (which will require the removal of an additional street tree);

· Widening the two indented parking bays outside 169 and 174 Middle Renwick Road to 2.5 metres to accommodate trucks and larger vehicles; and

· Adding a 1.5-metre-wide cycle path connection on Severne Street, connecting to the shared pathway.

A key objective of the project was to retain as much parking as practical to try to meet the demand of residents and businesses. Parking surveys of the area show low demand for parking on the route. With the additional parking now provided, the provision should comfortably exceed the demand level by over 40%.

The construction will begin in early May 2021, with an estimated completion date of June 2021. Residents and businesses along the route will be updated by letter prior to construction.

“Adding this section of cycle lanes is part of the ‘big picture’ to develop a safe, convenient and connected cycle network around Marlborough. We want to help make cycling a viable and enjoyable way to commute to and from work and school, to get around town, and for leisure,” Council Sustainable Transport Manager Braden Prideaux explains.

“I’d like to thank everyone who submitted. We’re keen to get started and underway with the project, which now includes modifications that we are able to do following the community’s feedback.”

The project costs will be met 85% by Waka Kotahi and 15% by Marlborough District Council.

For further information go to https://www.marlborough.govt.nz/recreation/cycling-and-walking/projects-and-strategies/middle-renwick-road-sh6-cycle-lanes

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