It’s time for FACTS and ACTION.
River Haven has the support of major cycling organisations across our region and beyond. We have become a major destination for cycle groups who love our positive environment and of course our wonderful refreshments. It’s been suggested, in a particularly unpleasant media article, that we’re anti-cycling and that I personally object to the cycleway currently under construction along the Motueka River Valley.
Putting to one side, for the moment, the growing opposition to the District Council spending millions of dollars on cycle ways when businesses across Tasman and Nelson are failing, public services are in crisis and the roads are falling apart (hell for cyclists); The Great Taste Trail is in places highly dangerous – particularly the section currently under construction in Ngatimoti.
Project Manager, Belinda Crisp’s position:
i) She admits there’s no proven economic case for the multi-million dollar works.
ii) Claims the trail is used by 3000 cyclists per year but her system does not identify the individuals so it could be 300 people using it 10 times a year or even 30 people using it twice a week! After all we cyclists are jolly keen people.
iii) She says an Environmental Impact Survey wasn’t necessary even though construction destroys wildlife habitats.
iv) Can’t explain why and who took the decision to route cyclists off the beautiful, much quieter, West Bank Road (very few commercial vehicles – it’s bliss) onto the major highway with traffic travelling at up to 100km/h.
v) When asked how many children would use the cycle path to and from Ngatimoti School said – “a minimum of 1.” No joke, it will be a minimum of 1 – whatever that means!
i) The design of the cycle path through Ngatimoti is ill-conceived. That’s putting it mildly. In fact, some of the workers have said it’s crazy. Cyclists will be alongside and lower than the highway, their heads perfectly aligned to receive whatever spray or stones are thrown up by passing trucks.
ii) In places cyclists will ride within a couple of metres of vehicles coming towards them at 100kph.
According to cycle groups there have already been serious injuries and a fatality on the Trail and this construction is not going to improve the statistics.
Long before I arrived in this corner of paradise and created River Haven, local residents had been requesting a reduction in the speed limit through Ngatimoti. They have been ignored.
Well, I’m so concerned that this “crazy” construction is going to result in serious injuries and possibly fatalities that I have started lobbying for the speed limit to be reduced, hopefully to a more sensible 50kph particularly where the road passes our school and alongside the most vulnerable sections of the cycle path. Wish me luck!
In the meantime please cycle safely to River Haven – you’re assured of a warm welcome.