Path positive for pupils

Pupils (from left) Javantay Fawkes, Nate Anderson and Rose Arena (all 9) cycle ahead of Ardgowan...
Pupils (from left) Javantay Fawkes, Nate Anderson and Rose Arena (all 9) cycle ahead of Ardgowan School principal Ryan Fraser (left) and Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher along the new path close to the school. PHOTO: WYATT RYDER
Just four weeks into the school year, Ardgowan Rd’s new path is proving popular with pupils.

The east side of Ardgowan Rd was recently trimmed back, dug up and transformed into a safe new path ranging from the top of Eden St to Ardgowan School.

School principal Ryan Fraser said about 10 of the school’s 110 pupils were using the path regularly.

"It’s just such a positive thing for students to have independence."

Families had also been riding alongside, dropping the children at school then cycling back.

Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher said the path was a real improvement and a valuable amenity for the community.

In town, parents would walk with their children to school regularly, but Ardgowan families never really had that option before.

It was great to see the path had such an immediate impact, he said.

He had "no doubt" there would be calls to extend the path along Ardgowan and down to the bottom of Buckleys Hill, but the logistics were difficult as there was not much space on the sides of the road there to build a path.

Pupil Nate Anderson said he had a lot of fun riding to and from school, especially going down the big dips.

He did not find any of the section too difficult to ride up and never had to walk his bike.

A Waitaki District Council spokesman said there were a few property owners concerned about the new path crossing their driveways.

Those residents had never dealt with the issue before, but almost every urban resident had, he said.

The council would contact property owners about their responsibilities.

It also had positive feedback from members of the community who were using the space for activities such as jogging.

The project came in on budget at $161,000, 57% of which was funded by NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi.