Ocean to Alps by pedal power

June 17, 2009

The District Council phoned last week to seek our opinion on an Ocean to Alps cycelway.

It would start in or near Oamaru, go through the Waiareka Valley, into the Waitaki Valley, past the hydro lakes and finish near Mount Cook.

Part of it would use a disused rail corridor, and a small portion of that adjoins some of our land.

There are few details avaialble yet but I support the idea in principle for both economic and social reasons.

A recent survey shows the Central Otago Rail Trail boosts the local economy by around $7 million and creates the equivalent of about 75 fulltime jobs a year.

More difficult to quantify but also of value is the positive difference it’s brought to small, formerly isolated communities.

New businesses have been established, locals have found outlets for creative endeavours and the standard of food and wine at wayside stops has moved well beyond the sad pies and deep fried horrors that used to be all that was available.

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