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Seal of approval for bike skills park concept

Seal of approval for bike skills park concept

Road, off-road, and even a rail crossing - a new bike park in the Ashburton Domain wants to have it all.

The concept plans for the learn-to-ride cycling facility were approved by the Ashburton District Council on Wednesday.

The construction of the bike skills park will be paid for by the local service clubs and community organisations driving the project.

The Bike Skills Park Working Group, a combination of the clubs, organisations, and council representatives, produced the concept design that has three separate but interconnected areas.

Group spokesperson Walter van der Kley said it will be a great asset for the community.

“We have good community support for the project.”

The council approved the domain as the location, incorporating the existing pump track, in July last year.

The pump track will be reformed in roughly the same location but slightly larger and will include an elevated lookout and seating area.

A flat street circuit, a 3m wide asphalt ‘road’ with line marking to enable two-way traffic, will feature a range of road signs and crossings reflecting common Ashburton traffic features – including a rail crossing.

A train track will lead to a train station shelter, with the plan to incorporate a handcar or jigger that can move out from the shelter and across the street.

"Half the children in Ashburton cross the rail line to go to school," van der Kley said.

There will also be an off-road woodland trail circuit, located around the existing trees, connecting to the street circuit over a cattlestop – “a lesson that needs to be taught”, van der Kley said.

A footpath will link to a central picnic and viewing area.

There is some room to scale some things back and construction won’t start until the project is fully funded, van der Kley said.

The report to the council stated the design is estimated to cost around $454,000 to build and the working group is optimistic about raising that amount, van der Kley said.

Now the concept design has council approval, the group will begin working on obtaining resource consent, consulting the public on the plans, and then the detailed design – which will include a second cost estimate.

The construction of the park will be covered by the local organisations and groups but once it is built and vested to the council.

Open spaces manager Ian Soper said the estimated maintenance costs, based on the worst-case scenario, will be in the vicinity of $650,000 over 30 years, or around $21,744 a year.

The maintenance includes keeping the paths and tracks free of weeds and debris, repainting the line markings every five years, and maintaining the structures, and keeping other items such as signs, level crossing lights and traffic lights in working order.

An annual vandalism cost of $5000 was also factored into the figures, Soper said.

By Jonathan Leask