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Trail group eyes funds


Trail-group-eyes-fundsThe group investigating building a new cycleway starting at Lawrence and heading towards Milton, hope the project will fall under the new trail network funding plan announced recently by the Government.

The Government has pledged to provide $13 million to build new trails to link the existing Otago trails.

However, a Lawrence group is in the early stages of creating a new cycleway from the town to Milton and Lake Waihola.

Lawrence Cycle Trail Working Group chairman Mark Patterson said the trail was only in the planning stages.

"We are doing a feasibility study on behalf of [Clutha Development].''

He said the cycleway was not definite yet, as it depended on the response of local landowners and the Department of Conservation.

He said negotiations on aspects of the trail were ongoing.

An engineering report would need to be completed once the provisional route for a track was determined and funding could be sought.

Mr Patterson said if the cycleway went ahead he expected it would fall under the Government's scheme to connect existing tracks.

"It's obviously a bit of a priority for the Government and we'd be pretty confident if we can get our ducks in a row that we should be able to get some support.''

He said the provisional route being planned to connect Lawrence to Milton and Waihola could be part of the wider plan to connect Central Otago trails.

Roxburgh and Lawrence are already linked by the Clutha Gold Trail.

Mr Patterson said there was also the potential for the Dunedin City Council to "hook in'' and extend its cycleway network closer to the city.

"We're [Lawrence] the bit in the middle,'' Mr Patterson said.

Funding to connect the Central Otago cycle trails was announced two weeks ago as part of a $26.3million package.

The Central Lakes Trust announced it would provide $11.15million towards the project and the Otago Community Trust will contribute $2million.

New trails will be built from Cromwell to Wanaka and from Cromwell to Gibbston, meaning the Queenstown, Clutha Gold, Roxburgh Gorge and Otago Central Rail Trails will all be connected.