1 Jul 2015

Otago road project 'going to save lives'

3:26 pm on 1 July 2015

The days of cars driving into Otago Harbour may soon be over, now the Government has backed plans to fast-track the widening of the main peninsula road.

Christine Carey at Broad Bay, one of the narrow road sections to be widened.

Christine Carey at Broad Bay, one of the narrow road sections to be widened. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

The New Zealand Transport Agency yesterday announced the Government would help complete the widening of Portobello Road along the harbour's edge to Harington Point, with dedicated cycleways and walkways, by 2018.

The chair of the Otago Peninsula Community Board, Christine Garey, said she was delighted because the board had been lobbying for the project for a decade.

"So, the road will be more forgiving. If somebody does make a mistake in their vehicle, it's going to be wider in terms of that," she said.

"But it's going to have that separated cycleway and separated walkway - that's the thing that's going to make it safer. It's going to save lives."

Ms Garey said the project would also create a marathon-length walk and cycleway right around Dunedin's inner harbour.

The top of the South Island, meanwhile, including Marlborough, Nelson and Tasman, has more than $220 million earmarked for investment in its roads and transport infrastructure.

Most will be spent on forecast maintenance and operations.

Thirteen million dollars has been allocated to cycling and walking infrastructure, and almost $5.5 million will go towards improving public transport, mainly in Nelson City.

The chair of the Nelson City Council's land transport committee, Eric Davy, said there were no real surprises in the package announced yesterday.

"The best bit of news was the $3 million that was granted to us last week for our urban cycleway project."