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Trust presents Sumner-Redcliffs walkway proposal to Council

13 September 2005

Christchurch City Council will investigate the feasibility of a proposal put to it today by the Maurice Carter Charitable Trust for a combined walkway/cycleway linking Sumner and Redcliffs.
The Trust is offering to contribute $500,000 towards constructing the part of the walkway/cycleway from the city end of Moncks Bay past Shag Rock corner to the  Sumner Surf Life Saving Club.
A coastal walkway/cycleway has been one of the issues to be considered by the Council in developing a plan for managing and improving the coastline from Scarborough Hill to Barnett Park, Redcliffs.  
The Trust contribution is conditional on the Council physically starting work on the concept in the next 18 months, and on naming it the Merle Carter Walkway, after Sumner resident Merle Carter, who has lived much of her life in the suburb.
The proposed walkway/cycleway would be up to seven metres wide with separate lanes for pedestrians and cyclists, seating alcoves and overhead lights. It would be cantilevered over the rocky coastline near the estuary outlet to the sea.  A further stage linking Moncks Bay to Beachville Road in Redcliffs could be considered separately by the Council.
“If the entire walkway/cycleway is completed, it would give a continuous route for pedestrians and cyclists from Godley Head to the Waimakariri River mouth,” Trust member Philip Carter said. “The Sumner to Moncks Bay section would reduce the traffic dangers to walkers, dogs and cyclists negotiating the narrow hairpin section of road along the coastline,” he said.
Hagley/Ferrymead Councillor David Cox, who chaired today’s meeting, thanked Mr Carter for putting forward the proposal and said it was worth serious consideration from the Council. ‘If we decide to go ahead, we will however have to re-prioritise our capital programme,” he said.
Council staff were asked to produce a report on the proposal, to help Councillors in their decision making, by mid to late October.
Greenspace Unit manager Michael Aitken said the Council would engage in full consultation with the community if it decided to take the proposal further.
Work on developing a co-ordinated plan for the Scarborough to Moncks Bay coastline was initiated by the Hagley/Ferrymead Community Board early last year. Since then community groups have been invited to submit ideas on what should be considered in the plan and a visitors’ survey has been conducted at Sumner Beach.

Suggestions to improve the area have included a coastal walkway/cycleway, improving access to the water, increasing safety, celebrating the area’s heritage, recreational use of Peacock’s Gallop, an offshore reef at Scarborough, more sand at Scarborough beach, an improved promenade and a better link to Whitewash Head.
There will be plenty of opportunities for the public to have their say before any final decisions are made, Mr Aitken said.


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