Enthusiasm ramped up

Photo: Sean Nugent
Photo: Sean Nugent
Enthusiastic cyclists and wheelchair users celebrate the opening of the new accessibility ramp at the Hawea River Swing Bridge yesterday.

The $80,000 ramp was built and open to the public before Christmas, and yesterday’s official opening was held to mark the completion of a long-time project for the Upper Clutha Tracks Trust.

Trustee John Hare said the trust had been working hard to make tracks around the Upper Clutha more accessible for all, by removing gates, stiles and stairs.

"We’ve spent quite a bit of time and some money getting rid of impediments for people with disabilities, and people with strollers, pushchairs, wheelchairs, and just making it easier for everyone to get on to the tracks.

"The whole movement has culminated in this ramp.

"We believe it makes sense for good riding both for recreation and commuting. Its very important for our town," he said.

Mr Hare noted the community support the trust received was crucial, and said the ramp could not have been built without it. Queenstown Lakes Deputy Mayor Calum MacLeod was on hand to cut the opening ribbon, and said the ramp was "absolutely fantastic".

"I’ve ridden across it probably twice a week since it was put in, and its only when you ride over it that you realise what a pain it was carrying your bike up the steps."

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