Submisson 2009.1

Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust submission on Dunedin City Council draft 2009-2019 Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP)

Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust

Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust (DTTT) is a recently established charitable trust with the aim of promoting and developing a safe, family-friendly cycle and walking trail from the centre of Dunedin through to the Taieri Plains via the two old rail tunnels at Caversham and Chain Hills.

We wish to speak to our submission, and request a copy of the DCC Officer's report when this is available to assist in our preparation for our oral submission.

A) Cycling Initiatives in the draft DCC LTCCP

1) Caversham and Chain Hills Tunnels Trail proposal

We support this initiative as having a large commuting and tourism potential for both cycling and walking.  We support a Feasibility Study as stated in the Community Plan Summary; Transportation Planning, we understood this feasibility was planned for last year and are disappointed that this has not yet progressed.  

As a commuting option the trail would eliminate the Lookout Point and Saddle Hill climb barriers; enable the cyclists to be able to move away from major traffic flows; create a family-friendly and safe “Southern Corridor” i.e. a commuter, recreational, and tourist corridor between Mosgiel, Green Island, and Dunedin; provide an instant, local, accessible tourist attraction of Dunedin's heritage; and follows the general increase of awareness and participation in outdoor activities and the "green economy".   This is not only a part of Dunedin's history that needs to be preserved and used, but an incredible resource that should be utilised to the full for recreation as well as commuting.

2) Shared off-road Path from Port Chalmers to Dunedin City

We support this initiative to provide an alternative route for cyclists and pedestrians to State Highway 88.  

We also want DCC to ensure that the planned State Highway 88 improvements, also funded by NZTA as indicated in the Regional Land Transport Programme, are suitable for cyclists and pedestrians also. 

B) Cycling Initiatives not included in the current DCC LTCCP we wish to be included

            DTTT requests that there is sufficient budget within the LTCCP to ensure that:

1)      Any recommendations from the Feasibility Study can proceed.

Funding to proceed with the development of the trail and to overcome any issues identified by the Feasibility Study would be required within the budget lifetime of the LTCCP under discussion here. We request that a section of funds be earmarked for the 09/10 financial year as well as the following years to enable the track to be developed in a staged fashion over the next 4 years.

2) The Dunedin Cycling Strategy (April 2004, DCC) is reviewed

We request that any Cycling Strategy for Dunedin city and environs to include the proposal for this Tunnels track between Caversham, Abbotsford, and Wingatui as a “Southern Corridor” for cycling and walking. 

3) DCC support the development of an Otago Regional Cycling Network

We request that DCC work with Otago Regional Council and other Councils in the Otago Region to develop a strategy similar to the Canterbury Regional Council Strategy, and for this to be a component of the Regional Land Transport Strategy that is soon to be reviewed.

The potential for the region to establish a linked network of trails looping around Otago is excellent.  The creation of an Otago Loop, comprising of the following:

·      Harbour Cycleway

·      Caversham/Chain Hills Tunnels trail

·      Taieri Gorge Express

·      Otago Central Rail Trail

·      River or trail-based section Alexandra to Roxburgh

·      Clutha Gold Trail

·      Beaumont – Milton trail

·      Milton – Mosgiel trail

·      Extension trails further into Central Otago

This would create an internationally attractive activity that would build on the proven success of the Otago Central Rail Trail; be a showcase of the whole region; and benefit all Otago residents.

C) A partnership be established between DCC and DTTT for the ongoing development of this Trail

Following the model established by the Otago Central Rail Trail Trust and DOC, we suggest a partnership between the DCC and DTTT to promote, develop, and maintain this trail, as described in the (carried) motion of the Infrastructure Services Committee, 24 November 2008 Part B, item 3.

1 That Council staff be requested to clarify land ownership as soon as possible.

2 That the Committee request a review be carried out on the issues and funding associated with the use of the old Caversham and Wingatui rail tunnels for pedestrian and cycle use, in the context of access from the central Dunedin area to the Taieri Plain and beyond as influenced by the Transportation, Cycling and Pedestrian strategies and the Heritage strategy.

3 That the Committee request that Council staff be asked to work with interested parties and review possible partners to assist with carrying out financing the review.

4 That the review be carried out in the 2009/2010 year and an application for financial assistance be made to the NZ Transport Agency and Council staff be requested to work with the interested parties.

Motion carried

The Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust has been established as a charitable trust specifically for this purpose: working with the DCC in fundraising,  promoting, and maintaining the trail and associated facilities.  We acknowledge that not all funds for this trail may be able to be immediately sourced from within the DCC budget and offer this alternative model as a method to proceed with development.

Thank you for your consideration of our submission.  We look forward to working collaboratively with Council to help ensure that Dunedin is cycling friendly and uses the assets of the city for the benefit of all.

Regards

Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust 

14/04/2009 from Annual Plan Submission, Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust