Cr Kate Wilson in front of the Wingatui entrance to the
Chain Hills tunnel last week. Photo by Debbie Porteous.
Organisers behind the plan to create a cycle trail
between Mosgiel and Dunedin say it is going to take longer than
The Taieri Times earlier this year reported
the Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust hoped to begin work on the
trail from Caversham to Wingatui within months.
But last week, trust spokesman Gerard Hyland said securing
access to private properties for parts of the trail could
take some time yet.
Mr Hyland said the trust knew there could be obstacles with
the project, which had already taken nearly eight years.
He did not want to go into the specifics of problems with
access to land. The trail would go from the city through the
disused Caversham tunnel, follow the railway line through
Abbotsford and the disused Chain Hills tunnel and into
Mr Hyland said the trail would still be built and there was
much work to do while land access issues were resolved,
including clearing drains above either end of the Chain Hills
Talks with Kiwirail over access to the Abbotsford rail
corridor were ongoing. My Hyland said the project began in
2006 and the trust had needed to jump through many hoops,
including having to commission feasibility studies, technical
surveys, reports and assessments on using the tunnel in a
cycle trail route.
The property owner at the east end of the Chain Hills tunnel
said she was happy for a trail easement through her property.
The property owner at the west end of the tunnel, Mark North,
said he was open to considering the idea. He did not want to
comment publicly other than to say the trail was ''not
completely off the table''. One of the issues was how close
the trail would run to their home.
Dunedin City Council has made about $70,000 available to the
trust for items like surveys and other technical costs.
Cr Kate Wilson, the councillor on a project control group
overseeing the trail's development, said she was in contact
with the Norths. Cr Wilson planned to update the council
before its long-term plan discussions next year.