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Chris and Niko (20 months) Dzikiewicz start their journey from the Wingatui end of the Chain...
Chris and Niko (20 months) Dzikiewicz start their journey from the Wingatui end of the Chain Hills Tunnel during an open day on Saturday. Photo: Linda Robertson.
Hundreds of people navigated mud and darkness walking through a tunnel from Wingatui to Dunedin on Saturday.

Members of a trust set up to establish a cycle trail between Wingatui and Dunedin opened the Chain Hills Tunnel to the public to raise funds for the project which has been in the works for about 10 years.

Dunedin Tunnels Trust spokesman Gerard Hyland said about 400 people walked the 8.5km track.

"Everyone has said they love the idea of a cycleway connecting the areas."

He hoped a loan of $500,000 to purchase the Gladstone Rd property, which was on private land, would be raised "sooner rather than later".

"We need to put pressure on the council so they see it should be a priority."

The trail would go from the city, through the former Caversham tunnel, follow the Abbotsford railway line and the former Chain Hills railway tunnel to Wingatui.

The trust was investigating tarsealing much of the track, which while costly, would make it accessible to all.

Tunnel walker Chris Dzikiewicz, of Dunedin, said he supported the project because it offered a safer and more enjoyable place to cycle.

"It was very nice to see the tunnel and by being there it was a way to support the idea of opening it up permanently."

If established, the track would enable cyclists to commute to and from the city in 30 minutes.


Yes the numbers tell the story don't they. Mr Hyland says everyone supports the cycle way. Yes the 0.003% of Dunedin's population that turned up support it. Even allowing a multiplier of 100 that gives them a third of 1% of Dunedin people interested in this expensive folly.
I for one think DCC are giving this exactly the level of priority they should. That is none. If this group really want to raise the money then they can go do it. They can raise the millions needed to move sewers etc for the Lookout point tunnel at the same time.
I have no problem with user pays. Let this tiny mob buy the properties and charge users a toll. Ratepayers should not be supporting this groups hobby.

What a fantastic initiative. When you experience the growing traffic congestion to and from Mosgiel at peak times and note the significant use the new harbourside cycle path gets, it's easy to see this project should be a council priority. Cyclists and motorway commuters would both benefit significantly, not to mention the tourism... Great foresight Mr Hyland!



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