Submisson 2010.1

Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust submission on Dunedin City Council draft 2010-2011 Annual Plan

Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust

Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust (DTTT) is a charitable trust established in 2009 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.

A)    Transport Operations and Planning in the draft DCC Draft Annual Plan

1) Add Southern Cycleway / Tunnels Trail including Caversham and Chain Hills Tunnels

 We request that this initiative be added to the Transport Plan as a separate item.  The cycleway has 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 2009 and are disappointed that this has not yet been completed.  

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 Cycleway 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

support 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.

B)    DTTT requests that there is sufficient budget within the Annual Plan 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. 

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.

D)  We request DCC support for an Otago Regional Active Transport Forum

We support the formation of an Active Transport Forum as currently exists in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson/Tasman, and Canterbury to better co-ordinate Active Transport in Otago and request that there is sufficient budget within the Annual Plan for this.  Such a forum would increase the intersectoral support, networking, and information sharing so ensuring better outcomes for cycling throughout the region. 

A forum also would help co-ordinate regional cycling initiatives.  For example the linkage of the proposed Caversham Tunnels to the Otago Rail Trail, and a potential Strategy to look at a Regional Cycling Network to ensure the Otago Councils work together to provide an integrated network for cyclists.  "

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

12/04/2010 from Annual Plan Submission, Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust