Cycleways continue to grow

Biking news: More iWay is on the way.

Work is due to start on two cycleway projects next week; one along Pakowhai Rd, the other in Haumoana.

Both will extend Hastings District Council’s iWay cycle and walk way network, designed to encourage people to use foot or pedal power to get to work or school.

The Pakowhai Rd project is stage one of a three part project which will eventually link Hastings’ urban area to the Brookfields Bridge. Napier City Council is working on the other side, from the bridge to Napier city.

The first stage will see two-metre on-road cycle lanes built along both sides of the road, from the Evenden Rd roundabout to about 300 metres east of the Morley Rd intersection. It should be completed by early July, weather permitting.

Stage two will extend the cycle lanes further along Pakowhai Rd, up to the intersection of Ruahapia and Pakowhai roads, and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Stage three will be completed as part of the Whakatu Arterial Road works.

In Haumoana, the project is about getting children to school safely. The two metre wide off-road cycle and walking track will run along East Rd, on the southern side from its intersection with Beach Rd, turning south into Parkhill Rd, finishing at Haumoana School.

Making Hastings a cycle-friendly city, which encouraged residents and visitors to jump on their bikes to get to work or school or to see the sites, had long been in Council’s plans. In 2010 Government funding of $4 million added to local funding of $2.4m gave the project a real kick start. By mid-2012more near 90km of new pathways had been constructed, including four key “arterial” routes linking Flaxmere, Hastings, Havelock North and Clive.  In 2015 Napier joined the iWay strategy, and further Government was successfully applied for.

The focus now is on linking paths onto those main routes and instigating and supporting cycling programmes.

Keen cyclist and deputy mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the district’s progress on putting in cycling infrastructure had been “incredible”.

"The Pakowhai link is a significant addition to our iWay network, allowing our cycle commuters to safely travel between Hastings and Napier. With the growing number of cyclists commuting we are committed to providing safe cycling through our district."

The Haumoana cycleway will encourage youngsters in that area to ride or walk to school, helping to set up healthy exercise habits for life, which is a big part of Haumoana School’s travel plan.