Submisson 2012.1

Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust submission on Dunedin City Council draft 2011-2012 Annual Plan / Long Term 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.

 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;

·          be a key part of Dunedin’s long-term urban transport plan

·          provide an instant, local, accessible tourist attraction of Dunedin's heritage;

·          be an investment in a sustainable future for Dunedin and support the general increase of awareness and participation in outdoor activities and transportation options. 

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.

 

Roading & Footpaths: Southern Cycleway in the DCC Long Term Plan

1) Add Southern Cycleway / Tunnels Trail development item

 Firstly, we have welcomed the initial investigations of opening the old Caversham Tunnel through the DCC Working Party, and request that any existing unspent funds earmarked for this investigation are rolled over into the 2012/2013 budget.  We also welcome the inclusion of opening the Caversham Tunnel cycleway as a project approved by Council.

We request that in addition to the investigation, an annual sum of $500,000 for development of this initiative be added to the Strategic Cycle Network: Southern Commuter Routes Plan as a sub item.  Opening the Caversham tunnel will allow a far greater number of commuters to be able to cycle to/from work and school safely.  The current hill and high-speed road barriers are stopping a large number of potential commuters between the central city area, Kaikorai Valley, Green Island, Abbotsford, Fairfield, and Brighton. 

We feel the methodology and models used to determine that cycleways on roads in the South Dunedin area was the top priority did not fully consider all relevant items; specifically the source populations, source and target demand factors, and qualitative benefits of reduced motor traffic over longer distances and were therefore skewed towards inner urban cycle lanes rather than longer commuter routes.

The DTTT is committed to being a partner in this development and in the development of the longer Tunnels Trail from Caversham to Wingatui, and looks forward to working further with the Council.  As a partner, we feel the DCC needs to show it is willing to be an active partner through financial commitment within the Long term Plan.

The full cycleway through the tunnels and following the rail route has a large commuting and tourism potential for both cycling and walking.

Funding to proceed with the development of the trail and to overcome issues identified by the studies undertaken by the DCC Working Party need to be included in the 2012-2013 budget under discussion here. At a minimum, the Council needs to commit to funding for mitigating safety issues to allow volunteer groups (both professional and amateur) to work on development of the cycleway.

We do not expect the council to solely fund the development of this community amenity.  The Trust is working in partnership with a number of groups to assist in this regard. 

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

The DTTT 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.  As mentioned above, 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.

Representatives from the Trust are currently on the DCC Working Party investigating the options of the tunnels and trail between them. We would like to thank the DCC for this opportunity and look forward to continue to work with the Council for investigation and development of the trail, and the development of a formal Memorandum of Understanding between the council and the Trust to outline roles and responsibilities over the life of this project.

3) Council develop a cohesive and integrated Cycleway Plan for the City

We think the Long Term Plan should show a plan and vision for the full cycleway network within the city, so we can achieve the synergy of an integrated network consisting of not only the inner urban commuting lanes, but the Harbour cycleways and commuter/tourist routes to the south via the tunnels and south coast and eventual connection to the National Cycleway.

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

12/04/2012 from Annual Plan Submission, Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust