A safe path from Raglan’s town centre to the beach is a step closer to fruition following Waikato District Council’s successful funding application to the Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF).
Just under $1 million has been secured from the Government’s fund which was set up to develop tourism-related infrastructure that supports regions facing pressure from tourism growth.
The $965,000 will be spent on completing the Town2Surf shared cycle path which will connect Raglan town centre via the pedestrian overbridge at Papahua Campground, along Marine Parade, and then Wainui Road to Wainui Reserve and its internal footpaths that connect to the beach and the popular mountain bike park.
The completed shared path will also provide a walking/cycling connection between both the Wainui Reserve and town centre for Poihākena Marae and the planned Papakāinga development.
Five of the eight stages of the Town2Surf share path have already been completed by WDC.
The TIF money will assist WDC build the final three sections:
- the 500m Rock-it Kitchen to Poihākena Marae section,
- the Poihākena Marae to Karekare Ave section along the frontage to the Papakāinga development,
- the 625m Karekare Ave to Raglan West shops section.
The total cost of these stages is approximately $2m, with the TIF funding providing 50 percent of that.
Once complete, the benefits of the Town2Surf shared cycle path include:
- A reduction in traffic congestion on Wainui Rd of freeing-up parking spaces at Wainui Reserve
- A reduction in the risk of harm to cyclists and pedestrians due to the separation of the path to the road
- A reduction in parking overflow at Ngarunui Beach, Wainui Rd and Raglan town
- Improving accessibility for visitors who travel to Raglan via public transport
“The beauty of this project is that it caters for both locals and visitors by providing a safer route to the beach for walkers and cyclists,” said Waikato District Council Chief Executive Gavin Ion.
“It also links in with the Raglan community’s aspirations for their town, including the Local Area Blueprint, in which extending the local walking and cycling network was identified as a very high priority.”
Council’s Town2Surf shared cycle path work is part of a district-wide footpath improvement programme.
Other planned major projects over the next two years include River Road to Les Batkin Reserve Tuakau, Matangi Rd Matangi, new connections in Huntly, Tamahere and Tauwhare.
The TIF funding is conditional on the securing of all necessary consents and evidence of consultation with the local community.
There is an expectation that the project will be complete within 18 months of the signing of the funding agreement.