A decade in the making, Te Ara Ihutai Christchurch Coastal Pathway is now complete and fully open to visitors.
Running 6.5 kilometres from the Ferrymead bridge to Scarborough Beach in Sumner, the shared pathway will let people enjoy walking, cycling, scooting or skating safely off-road along the coast.
The concept for the pathway was approved by Christchurch City Council in 2013 and made possible with support from the Government’s Shovel Ready Project Fund.
Deputy Mayor Pauline Cotter, who cut the ribbon on the Pathway at a ceremony this morning, says Te Ara Ihutai Christchurch Coastal Pathway is already proving to be a popular draw and is well worth the wait.
“We estimate that the sections of the Pathway we’ve already completed are attracting around 16,000 users a month, and we expect that number to only go up now that the final section is open,” she says.
“The Council offers huge thanks to the local community for their patience over the last 10 years. Given the coastal environment and how narrow the worksite has been, the whole project has been a physically challenging one. Locals have put up with a lot, particularly those who’ve lived nearby to some of the noisy night work, and who commute along Main Road regularly. The finished product is a beautiful asset to the whole city, and we’re sure it’s more than worth the hassle.
“The Pathway is an example of the community taking the lead and working together with the Council to get a great result. From the first moment, it’s been a joint project between Christchurch City Council and the Christchurch Coastal Pathway Group,” Deputy Mayor Cotter says.
Hanno Sander, local resident and chair of the Christchurch Coastal Pathway Group, says Te Ara Ihutai Christchurch Coastal Pathway is not just another cycleway.
“Te Ara Ihutai Christchurch Coastal Pathway creates a safe and beautiful connection between communities – each separated by spurs off the Port Hills, and each with its own character.
“It provides safe transport options for all, including kids on bikes going to school, walkers, joggers, scooters, skateboarders, and people on mobility aids.
“Christchurch pre-earthquake used to see itself as a gateway to other South Island tourist spots. However the reality is that it is in a stunningly beautiful and interesting setting in its own right. An important purpose of the pathway is encouraging visitors to stay longer and enjoy the wildlife, scenery, and village spots along the way,” Mr Sander says.