What has been done?
Council approved a project in the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan to develop a cycleway from Te Aroha to Matamata.
- Our first priority in this project is to meet with property owners who are likely to be most affected by the cycleway. We are currently working on the last section of the trail which is the route from Te Aroha through to Te Aroha West via Te Aroha-Gordon Road and Mace Road. Property consultations with affected property owners in this area are currently underway. We are continuing to survey properties where relevant (e.g. where easements may be required over private land).
- We have met with over 100 property owners so far to discuss the potential impacts on their properties, those that we have met with have been given details and aerial images of the property showing where the trail will pass by. We are continuing to arrange meetings with the property owners we have not visited yet. If your property is likely to be affected by the cycleway we will contact you directly.
- We are also liasing with a number of stakeholders for this project including the Te Manawhenua Forum, PowerCo regarding the overhead lines, Kiwirail regarding the railway bridge on Tower Road, Manawaru Primary School regarding providing safe access to school children (at the existing road crossing), and NZPost.
- We have investigated around 28km of road frontage in planning for the route and identifying options to open up the view from the trail and make it more interesting/scenic for cyclists (such as removing existing hedges that block the view of the Kaimai Ranges).
- We are identifying locations for toilets along the trail.
What route will the trail follow?
The route will follow the Kaimais along Manawaru Road (in the road reserve).
A number of submitters to Council supported the cycleway, but suggested a more scenic/varied route along Old Te Aroha Road (rather than the proposed route along Manawaru Road). We investigated both routes and have chosen the route along Manawaru Road, as this will mean the trail can be 'grade 1'. Grade 1 trails are suitable for all levels of cyclists, and would be consistent with the rest of the Hauraki Rail Trail. We will propose that this new extension is officially incorporated into the Hauraki Rail Trail, which will be beneficial for promoting the Te Aroha-Matamata leg. We also believe this route will result in better economic benefits for the district, encouraging people to stay overnight in Te Aroha or Matamata when cycling the rail trail.
The route along Te Aroha Gordon Road may have had more features of interest, however, could not be completed as a grade 1 trail, and would cost substantially more. We are proposing to signpost features of interest along the Kaimais such as Waiorongomai, Wairere Falls, the Kaimai Air Crash Memorial and Stanley Landing, however, the links to these sites would be along the road (not dedicated cycleway).
Note that some sections of the trail route (such as the exact routes in and out of Te Aroha and Matamata) are still to be confirmed.
Frequently asked questions
We've received a number of questions about the cycleway ranging from why are we extending it, through to what are the health and safety liabilities for farmers along the trail - so we compiled this list of FAQs to help answer the most common questions.
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You can receive the latest information and updates on this project directly to your inbox - just subscribe to the 'Cycleway Extension' mailing list on the Sign Up page