Carterton District Council [CDC] will continue to support bike storage options for schools but is unable to proceed with the proposed Connecting Carterton cycle paths project to link parks and schools at this stage.

CDC held public engagement during August on the project to connect schools and parks to the Carterton CBD by the provision of a cycleway using both on and off-road solutions.

This project is funded by Waka Kotahi through Transport Choices, and the aim was to connect five schools to the Carterton CBD by provision of cycle way using both on and off-road solutions.

The original proposal sought to construct a separated cycleway on the eastern side of High Street, from north of South End School to Seddon Street, encouraging mode shift and a safe route for school children walking and travelling on bikes and scooters.  Route planning required access across private land.  The design and construction phases were also under a very tight timeframe for delivery, based on the milestones set out by CERF.

Geoff Hamilton, Carterton District Council Chief Executive, said as the project developed, situations out of our control began to hinder the original route going ahead.

“This included Dalefield Rd, proposed rail crossing closures and landowner access.  We queried the possibility of an extension to the timeframe due to the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle.   The Transport Choices team confirmed the funding is unable to be carried forward beyond the original date of June 2024.

“An alternative route was considered, which involved creating a separated cycle way along part of State Highway 2.  This route was more complicated and significantly involved than the original plan.”

Waka Kotahi recommended that the separated cycleway along part of State Highway 2 be incorporated with a planned upgrade within the next two years as part of a ‘dig-once’ approach.

CDC opened engagement in August 2023, and received 50 responses through its “Have Your Say” page and other channels. Of those, 26 supported the project, 13 wanted to see some improvements, and 11 did not support the initiative.

“Given the original route had changed, and we did not have sufficient time to gain consensus with our community, Council and stakeholders for an alternative route, Management have decided to halt further work on this project,” Mr Hamilton.

CDC remains grateful to Waka Kotahi and its Transport Choices team for its continued support of the bike storage project, and the opportunity to work on potential solutions to climate change mitigation issues.

“We thank Transport Choices and our partners at Urban Connections for the opportunity to investigate options for alternative modes of transport around our town.

“The work has given us greater insights on how our town uses our network and given us a fantastic base to work from when considering the long-term plans for walking and cycling options in the District, and especially our central business and residential areas.

“We believe there remains widespread support for mode shift and safe walking and cycling routes especially for our school children. However further work needs to be completed at this time to ensure proposed routes have key stakeholder endorsement.”

Mr Hamilton said CDC is looking forward to sharing the progress of the storage facilities at our schools with the wider community.