Sport & recreation  |  13 May 2021

A new mountain bike track is a step closer to being constructed in a popular part of the Port Hills.

Christchurch City Council has agreed to make changes to the Montgomery Spur Reserve Management Plan so that a new intermediate grade mountain bike track can be built to ease pressure on Rapaki Track.

The change to the management plan is required under the Reserves Act 1977 and is subject to final approval by the Minister of Conservation.

“The more than 300 public submissions on the proposal to change the reserve management plan showed overwhelming support for extending the track network in Montgomery Reserve, says Councillor Pauline Cotter, who chaired the Hearings Panel appointed to consider submissions.

“Rapaki Track is one of the most popular mountain bike tracks on the Port Hills, but it is also very popular with walkers and runners. When you have mountain bikers coming down the track at high speeds and other people walking or running the track, it does create the potential for collisions.

“The new mountain bike track, which will run parallel to the lower section of the Rapaki Track and connect to the Taramea Mountain Bike Track, will reduce the risk of collisions by giving mountain bikers an alternate route, Cr Cotter says.

Funding is available for the new track and members of local mountain bike clubs have volunteered to help build it, under the supervision of the Council’s Regional Parks team.

“This is a great example of local organisations partnering with Council to achieve great outcomes for the city in a cost-effective way, Cr Cotter says.

Before construction on the track can begin, the Council will need to apply for a resource consent for benching work to reduce the rockfall risk on the lower section of the track.

Safety considerations with the new track will be addressed when the detailed design work is done.