The Eastern Bays Shared Path is a key project in providing a safe and integrated network for commuting and recreational purposes under the current Walk and Cycle the Hutt 2014-2019 strategy.
The project aim is to develop a safe and integrated walking and cycling facility on Marine Drive to connect communities along Hutt City’s Eastern Bays. It also aims to provide links to other parts of the network (current and future) for recreation and tourism purposes - in particular, the Remutaka Cycle Trail and the Great Harbour Way (Te Aranui o Pōneke).
Currently there is low pedestrian and cyclist use because there are no dedicated cycling and walking facilities, and the tightly constrained nature of Marine Drive. For the most part, cyclists and pedestrians must use the road shoulder which is very narrow and non-existent in sections.
The Shared Path will also include replacement seawalls for improved protection from storm events. Construction of the path will enhance the environment where possible and will provide a base for future resilience work on the road and underground services.
What it looks like
We've created simulated views of the key areas along the proposed the Eastern Bay shared path.
Hutt City Council has allocated $14.2 million in its Long Term Plan 2018-2028 for the Project.
NZTA has reviewed their planned funding for 2018-21 and indicated that its subsidy for the construction of the majority of the Eastern Bays Shared Path is unlikely to be funded in this current period. NZTA has continued to fund the design and consenting of the entire pathway and and have indicated that they are likely to fund construction of the Windy Point section.
While this news isn’t ideal we want to reinforce that while there is no guarantee NZTA will support this project in the next funding period (2021 to 2024), their current position may not impact HCC’s current programme.
Where we're at
The resource consent application has been lodged
The resource consent application is available on the Greater Wellington Regional Council website. This includes plans and technical reports and responses to requests for further information (under s92 of the RMA).
The application has been lodged with both Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and Hutt City Council, with GWRC leading the process.
The application was notified in November 2019 by GWRC to allow people to lodge submissions in support, opposition or to indicate a neutral position. A total of 193 submissions were received with an overwhelming number in support of the shared path proposal.
Those that were opposed were mainly around the management of penguins and further discussions are continuing to work through those concerns. HCC has always been committed to finding suitable ways of protecting penguins during the construction of the shared path, and identifying safe areas for penguin nesting areas and habitats along the Eastern Bays coast.
A summary of submissions has been published on the Greater Wellington Regional Council website. Individual submissions will be made available to view on the website in due course.
- Pre-hearing meetings - May be held to clarify or facilitate resolution of any matters.
- Hearing - Likely to be in June or July 2020. Dates to be confirmed. There is some uncertainty with this date due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
- Decision - date depends on when the hearing is held.
- Construction - potentially towards the end of 2020 (depends on when a decision is made through the approval process). We're currently expecting that works will be staged over a number of years. This is likely to be a bay at a time, starting with Windy Point.
How the community benefits
The Eastern Bays Shared Path will improve safety, create thriving business areas, reduce congestion and vehicle operating costs, increase recreation and tourism opportunities and positively benefit the health and wellbeing of the community.
It will provide a safe and connected walking and cycling route along Marine Drive, providing enhanced connections:
- Within the individual bays (for recreation and access)
- Between different bays (to shops, schools, and recreation)
- To and from Lower Hutt and beyond (to work, school or for recreation)
- To other regional cycle routes, including the Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Pōneke walking/cycling route and the proposed extension of the Remutaka Cycle Trail.
The Shared Path will also include replacement seawalls for improved protection from storm events, and will provide a base for future resilience work on the road and underground services.
- A survey in 2014 showed that residents list the completion of the Eastern Bays Shared Path, and concern about climate change as the two most important issues facing the Eastbourne community.
- Community engagement started early in the project during 2015.
- We held a series of meetings, including open days, during 2016 and 2017 to engage with the community and get their feedback on the options.
- In 2018 we developed the investigation and design further, using technical information alongside community feedback to create a final design.
- We're continuing to engage with the Community Board representatives on the progress of the project.
Find out about the environmental assessments relating to this work including information on penguins, resilience, climate change and sea level rise scenarios.
Find out more
To find out more contact Simon Cager, Senior Project Engineer:
T: 04 570 6666