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Thursday September 17, 2015

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Controversial cycle way given a construction date By Colin Engelbrecht

Construction on the controversial Island Bay cycleway begins on September 28 - and parts of the community are still angry about it. Fiona Cockerill-Ghanen was one of a group of residents at a community meeting last week who approached Cook Strait news about the cycleway “It’s not about a safe cycle way or they’d be doing it in Berhampore first,” says Ms Cockerill-Ghanen, who is an Island Bay resident against the cycle way. She and the other local residents believe the council has not listened to what they and the community want and have gone with their own agenda. They are confused about why this section of the cycle way is being pushed ahead of the Berhampore section, which is far more dangerous. “The general lack of willingness from the council to listen to what people have to say has been the biggest controversy of it all,” Ms Cockerill-Ghanen says. The final debate in June divided councillors and resulted in an eight-six split in favour of the cycleway. The project will cost $1.5 million and be finished early 2016, in time for the annual Island Bay Festival. The current cycle way, which is between street side parking and the road, will be moved inside the parking so there is a buffer zone between it and the road. There have been almost no cycling related accidents in Island Bay in the last 10 years but Berhampore is considered a cycleway danger zone. Councillor Andy Foster says the work is starting at Island Bay because it is the easiest option, and due to the wide roads on the Island Bay parade it is a perfect situation for a cycle way. “The northern end projects are both part of bigger things like Bus Rapid Transit which are all happening at different times,” he says. He says they originally wanted to do them all in sequence and from Island Bay to Newtown and Island Bay was a priority from the start. Mr Foster says the opposition does not represent the whole community’s views.

“The reality is there is no such thing as a community view, there’s a wide variety of views and some support the idea while others do not,” he says. Regan Dooley, an Island Bay resident and supporter of the cycleway, says the council could have done a better job talking to the community. “The initial consultation probably wasn't the best but I thought the council quickly learned from that and it got a lot better,” he says. Mr Dooley also agrees that Berhampore is a more dangerous section to bike through. “I bike through Berhampore every day on my way to and from work so I agree that cycling conditions need to be improved there,” he says. The cycleway in Berhampore has not yet begun because of delays due to the challenges presented in Berhampore due to the number of possibilities for a cycle way. “We are fortunate that because The Parade is nice and wide we can simply swap the position of parked cars and the current bike lanes to separate people riding bikes from motorised traffic,” he says. “Protected cycleways are proven to increase the numbers of people biking which then has lots of health, social, environmental and economic benefits,” Mr Dooley says.

The Mornington Golf Course will celebrate its 100 year anniversary by showing off a range of sports and stalls to the community.

Mornington Golf Course celebrates 100 years of golf A 100th birthday party will be held next month for Mornington Golf Course, the only council owned course in Wellington. The annual open day on Saturday, October 31 will be a larger event to celebrate 100 years since the course was built. The course was opened on October 31, 1915 by Wellington City Council, which is reported to have thought golf would be a cheap and easy option to keep people healthy. The open day will start with a golf tournament to raise funds for the First Tee Junior Values and Life Skills programme. The programme aims to help teach children valuable life skills and boost their confidence. Official celebrations start at 1pm and include all the sports played at the course

like lawn and indoor bowls, a range of golf and Bocce, an Italian form of petanque. The golf will include junior golf, mens and womens golf and special Olympic golf. Ray Tuffin, the president of the Mornington Golf Club, hopes the event will bring the community together to give sport a go. The event will also have stalls including food and drink, used items and face painting, some of which will be fundraising for the community. “Our plan is to make this more of a festival type event day and to make this an annual event,” says Mr Tuffin. Mornington Golf Club will also have a larger anniversary weekend to celebrate both the start of the course and the club in early 2016.

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The existing cycle way on The Parade in Island Bay where cyclists are exposed to the road. Photo by Colin Engelbrecht

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