First stage of Shared Pathways network complete

Published on 06 July 2018

Arapaepae Road Shared Pathway.

A new Shared Pathway along Arapaepae Road is proving popular with walkers and cyclists in Horowhenua.

The pathway, which runs from Queen Street to Meadowvale Drive, was completed in May and marks the first stage of construction of a network of Shared Pathways throughout Horowhenua.

Horowhenua District Council’s Shared Pathways Project Manager, Therese Barber, said the new pathway is already being well used, including forming part of this year’s cross country course for Waiopehu College.

The Shared Pathways project aims to connect the communities of Horowhenua along a network of safe and accessible walking and cycling paths.

“Shared Pathways will make it easier for people to get out, exercise, and enjoy the recreational assets and scenic beauty our district has to offer,” Ms Barber said.

The network will progressively build on existing pathways and trails to link the District's major communities; incorporate coastal reserves, rivers, mountains and lakes; and link Horowhenua with similar pathway networks in neighbouring districts.

Ms Barber said Shared Pathways will bring numerous benefits.

“These pathways will support people’s fitness and health, improve safety for vulnerable road users, and enhance connections among the highlights of Horowhenua’s cultural and environmental landscape. They will also showcase our district for domestic and international tourism by eventually connecting with Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail, and Te Araroa, the national walkway.”

Council allocated funding for the Shared Pathways network for the 2017/18 financial year after consultation on the Annual Plan showed public support for the project, and further funding was obtained from the New Zealand Transport Agency to expand the project and enhance safety along busy roads.

Ms Barber said a number of potential routes have been identified, and work on the next stages of the project will begin soon.

“The current focus is on investigating safe pathways from Levin’s urban areas to the mountains, and connecting the Trig Walkway to the Ōhau River,” she said.

“There will also be a Shared Pathway along Palmer Road at Foxton Beach, with the intent to connect Cousins Avenue Reserve, Holben Reserve and the Sunset Walkway in a fantastic 8km loop trail.”

Preliminary work on the next stages of the Shared Pathways network is expected to begin in spring, when weather allows, on Palmer Road.