Group unhappy with ranking

A group advocating the reopening of old train tunnels as a cycle route between Mosgiel and Dunedin is questioning the Dunedin City Council's priority list.

The Star asked council transportation planning manager Sarah Connolly to rank the tunnels project in relation to other cycle projects in the city.

She said the priority was to complete the South Dunedin Cycle Network first, then the Harbour Circuit (Portobello Road and SH88 shared path), then the Central City Cycle Network - including State Highway 1. After that, the priority was to complete the Mosgiel local cycle network and finally the links between Dunedin and Mosgiel.

Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust spokesman Gerard Hyland said the priorities often shifted and the tunnels project was at one stage ranked third behind the two harbour projects.

''It is always disappointing to see the staff reprioritise it down low but I am not privy to what other decisions they might make.

''We just have to go through the annual plan process and hope that the council staff follow on from what was decided there.''

He favoured building the ''backbone'' of a cycle network first including the cycle network from Portobello to Port Chalmers and then the central city route through to North Dunedin and in the other direction to Mosgiel.

''You put your backbone cycle trails in first and then have your outliers [like South Dunedin] feeding in.''

Ms Connolly said the council would assist the Trail Trust in obtaining safe access to the tunnel.

She said over the next year they would be reviewing all the work done on the project so far to determine what the cost was to complete the project and other issues related to power, sewer and gas lines in the tunnel.

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