Feedback on the plans for the Northern Line Cycleway closed Thursday, 17 November 2016.

Northern Line Cycleway

Background

The existing rail path between Kilmarnock Street and Tuckers Road is already a popular route for pedestrians and cyclists. The Northern Line project proposes to extend this facility at both the southern and northern ends to provide a full shared path from Belfast to South Hagley Park. This will provide route connections to an extended number of popular destinations such as Hagley Park, Northlands Mall, Styx Mill reserve and the many schools along the route.

At the northern end of the route there are a number of identified urban growth and development areas in Belfast. Due to uncertainty with the timing of this development, the proposed Northern Line route currently ends at Radcliffe Road. We will examine a future extension of the route to Belfast Road as more development occurs in the area.

Engagement Advisor contact details: 
Kate Berkett
Phone (03) 378 0967
Email: cycleways@ccc.govt.nz

Route description

The extended Northern Line route from Belfast to South Hagley Park can be broken down into three main sections:

  1. Riccarton - from the Old Blenheim Road intersection with the rail corridor connecting to the existing rail corridor cycle path at Kilmarnock Street;
  2. Casebrook - from the end of the existing rail corridor cycle path at Tuckers Road to Styx Mill Road; and
  3. Belfast - from Styx Mill Road to Radcliffe Road.

The project scope also recognises the existing section of shared path between Harewood Road and Langdons Road (near Northlands Mall) that is discontinuous along Restell Street. This short link also forms part of the project. The scope assumes minor improvements only to the existing path between Kilmarnock Street and Tuckers Road.
Route options for each section have been assessed against the criteria detailed above, to determine the best route for each section, while keeping in mind how the sections fit together to form a continuous route.

1. Old Blenheim Road to Kilmarnock Street (Riccarton)

Route options map - Blenheim Road to Kilmarnock Street

Click to enlarge.

Of the six options identified within this section, a route along the rail corridor has been identified as the preferred option. This option avoids the use of busy urban streets and offers the most direct and coherent path between Kilmarnock Street and the end of the route at Old Blenheim Road. A path on the western side of the tracks is preferred as it can largely achieve an increased clearance from the railway line inaccordance with KiwiRail standards. Land currently being leased for car parking will restrict the path width for a short section near Leslie Hills Drive – a wider path at this location will be investigated subject to the availability of land. A new signalised pedestrian and cycle crossing across Kilmarnock Street will facilitate an easier and safer crossing.

An alternative off-road option using Hagley Park was also considered. Whilst providing a relatively safe and attractive route, this option is less direct and cohesive and requires a crossing at the busy Riccarton and Deans Avenue intersection. At the southern end of the route most cyclists are also expected to have destinations further to the west and not towards Hagley Park. However, if Kiwirail’s operational requirements preclude the route along the rail corridor then this will be the preferred route. 

Four other options to run the route along on-road corridors were also assessed. These routes generally involved busy roads in a less comfortable environment, and were less direct than 

the preferred rail route. The options would also introduce residential and business impacts associated with potential parking loss in high demand areas

2. Tuckers Road to Styx Mill Road (Casebrook)

 Route options map - Tuckers Road to Styx Mill Road

Click to enlarge.

The existing cycle path ends on the west side of the rail corridor at Tuckers Road. From this point, six different options were considered to extend the route north to the Main North Road intersection with Styx Mill Road. The preferred route is a continuation along the rail corridor through to the Main North Road overbridge. A path on the western side of the tracks is preferred, which will be consistent with the existing facility south of Tuckers Road. There is insufficient room on the east side of the tracks to provide an appropriate track offset, path width and drainage swale. Between Sturrocks and Barnes Road, the Barnes Reserve is located immediately adjacent to the west side of the rail corridor. This presents an opportunity to upgrade the existing path through the reserve and avoids the need for a new path within the rail corridor.

Upon reaching the Main North Road overbridge, a new path will continue parallel to the overbridge on the west side of Main North Road. This will provide a full off-road connection from the rail corridor to Styx Mill Road towards the Northwood area.

Similar to the Riccarton section, the rail/Barnes Reserve corridor offers a safe and coherent off-road option in a predominately traffic free environment, and minimises any potential impacts on local residents and businesses. This section of the route is projected to have a strong connection with the Wheels to Wings and Nor’West Arc Major Cycle Routes at Papanui, and the Belfast section of the Northern Line further north. The rail corridor therefore offers the most direct connection between these points whilst linking to Northwood through the Main North / Styx Mill Road intersection.

The construction of a path on the western side of the railway requires KiwiRail acceptance of a minimum offset between the path and rail tracks. Two alternative routes have therefore been identified for the Casebrook section and will form the preferred route should the rail corridor route be declined.
The alternative routes are:

  • Tuckers Road to Sturrocks Road via Farnswood Place and Redwood Park; and
  • Sturrocks Road to Main North Road via Regents Park Drive.

The other route options considered included Cavendish-Styx Mill Road and Tuckers-Main North Road. The Cavendish option is the longest route and is significantly less direct. Main North Road is a very busy arterial route with safety and comfort concerns for inexperienced cyclists. For these reasons both options were discounted. Other alternatives to Regents Park Drive were also assessed via Barnes Road to Canberra Place and through the Canberra Reserve, or upgrading a series of local pathways through the Aylsham and Sharnbrook Reserves within the Regents park subdivision. Due to route directness, legibility and width constraints, these options were not preferred.

3. Main North Road to Radcliffe Road (Belfast)

Route options map - Main North Road to Radcliffe Road

Click to enlarge.

There are a number of urban growth and development areas in Belfast. Due to uncertainty with onset of this development we have initially identified a route up to Radcliffe Road. The preferred route is along the west side of Main North Road and will provide a direct connection to the new path from StyxMill Road linking to the rail path corridor.This route provides a strong link into Northwood and the neighbouring Supa Centa. The proposal also makes use of existing facilities through the widening of the path along Main North Road between Styx Mill and Radcliffe Road anda new signalised pedestrian and cyclist crossing over Styx Mill Road as well as widening of the Styx River bridge. This will provide a safe off-road facility, separated from traffic, and permits a quality cycle connection in the interim until development within the area proceeds. 

In the longer term, a continuation of the path along the rail corridor is the preferred option for the Northern Line from Main North Road to the end of the route at Belfast Road. The development of this route will be subject to the same design and consultation process at the appropriate time.

4. Harewood Road to Langdons Road
The existing shared path between Harewood Road and Langdons Road is discontinuous. Heading north, the present arrangement requires path users from St James Park to cross Harewood Road and travel into Restell Street. Pedestrians and cyclists then utilise an approximate 100 m section of Restell Street past The Station Restaurant before the resumption of the shared path to Langdons Road.

Several options have been investigated to provide a full connection between Harewood and Langdons Road. The preferred option involves implementing a new short section of path along the western side of Restell Street to complete the missing link. The path is located within Council road reserve and will require reconfiguration of private car parking at The Station Restaurant. This route provides a safe, dedicated space for pedestrians and cyclists whilst retaining connectivity to the Restell Street area. This will be supported by new pedestrian and cyclist crossing signals at Harewood and Langdons Road to make for easier and safer crossings of these busy roads.

Route selection

In developing the Northern Line, Council staff and technical specialists from external agencies considered a number of different routes in the study area. The route shown in this booklet is based on a continuous off-road path along the rail corridor which will provide a safe and direct route in a predominantly traffic free environment, whilst minimising potential impacts to residents and businesses.


Railway considerations
The Council are working closely with Kiwirail in the design of the new cycleway. There is a robust process in place to ensure the development of a safe and acceptable design. Should
any constraints preclude a suitable design, the Council have identified an alternative on road option outside of the railway corridor.
Assessing the options
There are a number of factors that determine the best route for a cycleway. To ensure that all of these factors are considered, the Council has developed a multiple criteria assessment process to help identify a preferred option. The criteria are
designed to provide a balance between the needs of people wanting to cycle and the impacts of a cycleway on businesses, residents and the road network.
These criteria include:

  • Safety first

For the cycleways to be effective and feel safe, the Major Cycle Routes must be built in a certain way. This means separating people on bikes from motor vehicles in some areas, and slowing vehicles and reducing volumes in others. 

Generally, the preferred location for Major Cycle Routes is on quieter streets with fewer trucks. However, this can be difficult to achieve where the route gets closer to the central city and / or needs to link through commercial or rural areas.

An extended path along the rail corridor will provide a cycleway away from busy roads. The Council is working closely with KiwiRail on the design of safe intersection treatments and crossings.

  • Traffic network considerations

Building safe cycle routes is one way to make the transport network more resilient. Where the proposed cycle route significantly changes the road, the Council must assess the likely impact on the rest of the transport network.

Making use of the rail corridor helps to minimise disruption to the road network.

  • Residential and business impacts

The Council recognises that existing parking is very important, particularly for local shops which rely on passing custom. We are also aware of the need to balance different travel needs including parking and attempt to keep as much parking as possible.

However, when planning safe, direct cycleways using limited available space, there will be times when vehicle parking does not take priority.

An off-road path along the rail corridor avoids parking impacts on alternative routes.

  • Feeling safe and secure

The perception of feeling safe along cycle routes is important to the overall success of the cycleway. Achieving a comfortable and attractive cyclist experience within a well designed environment is one of Councils’ design considerations.

The design of the rail path will incorporate good urban design elements such as lighting and vegetation trimming. Creating and maintaining a sense of ownership will contribute to a good first impression for path users.

What about tree removal?
In some areas we will need to remove trees to make room for the new path. We will look to replace trees where appropriate, and the design will look for opportunities for new landscape plantings.

Along the whole route we have identified approximately 9 trees that will need to be removed. Replacement trees will be planted close by, once we have determined the location of underground services.

Connecting with the central city and other Major Cycle Routes

Transport network plans for the central city are being developed as part of An Accessible City, the transport chapter of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. This plan includes lower speed limits and priority for people travelling on foot or by bike. At the southern end of the route, there will be connections to the Central City via shared paths in Hagley Park at Matai Street, Kilmarnock Street and Old Blenheim Road.

The Northern Line will also have direct connections with a number of other Major Cycle Routes planned for Christchurch including Papanui Parallel, Nor’West Arc, Wheels to Wings, Uni-Cycle and South Express.

More information on the An Accessible City projects are available at ccc.govt.nz/aactransportprojects(external link)

Full plans

Old Blenheim Road

Key features of the proposed cycleway by Old Blenheim Road.

Key features of the proposed cycleway by Old Blenheim Road.

Click to enlarge.

  1. A new shared pedestrian and cycle path begins at Old Blenheim Road and continues along the western side of the railway corridor.
  2. The drainage swale will be relocated between the new path and boundary fence.

The path will provide excellent access to South Hagley Park and further west towards Riccarton and Tower Junction. It will also connect to the existing path further south to Lester Lane.

Old Blenheim Road to Riccarton Road

Key features of the proposed cycleway between Old Blenheim Road and Riccarton Road.

Key features of the proposed cycleway between Old Blenheim Rd and Riccarton Rd

Click to enlarge.

  1. A new shared pedestrian and cycle path continues along the western side of the railway corridor.
  2. The path narrows to 1.7 m width for an approximate length of 100 m adjacent to leased car parks at 21 and 25 Leslie Hills Drive.

 A wider path at the pinch point location will be investigated subject to the availability of land.

Riccarton Road approach

Key features of the proposed cycleway on the Riccarton Road approach.

Key features of the proposed cycleway on the Riccarton Road approach.

Click to enlarge.

  1. A new shared pedestrian and cycle path continues along the western side of the railway corridor to Riccarton Road.
  2. A new safety fence will be erected alongside the Brockworth walkway on the eastern side of the railway corridor.
  3. The shared path is aligned with a new signalised crossing at the railway line and makes it safer for pedestrians and cyclists to cross Riccarton Road. The new crossing is currently being implemented as part of the Riccarton Road bus priority improvements.
  4. A new shared pedestrian and cycle path continues along the western side of the railway corridor towards Kilmarnock Street.

Having a shared path on the western side of the railway corridor means path users won’t need to cross the rail tracks at Riccarton Road and Kilmarnock Street. 

Riccarton Road to Kilmarnock Street

Key features of the proposed cycleway from Riccarton Road to Kilmarnock Street.

Key features of the proposed cycleway from Riccarton Road to Kilmarnock Street.

Click to enlarge.

  1. A new shared pedestrian and cycle path continues along the western side of the railway corridor to Kilmarnock Street.
  2. A signalised crossing at Kilmarnock Street allows a safe and easy crossing for pedestrians and cyclists travelling to and from the existing section of the Northern Line route.

The Northern Line will link to the Uni-Cycle Major Cycle Route along Matai Street.

Restell Street

Key features of the proposed cycleway on Restell Street.

Key features of the proposed cycleway on Restell Street.

Click to enlarge.

  1. A signalised crossing at Harewood Road allows a safe and easy crossing for pedestrians and cyclists travelling to and from the existing section of the Northern Line route in St James Park.
  2. A new shared path along the western side of Restell Street will provide a dedicated space for path users.
  3. Parking spaces at The Station Restaurant will be reconfigured to make room for the shared path.
  4. The new path will link to the existing facility north of The Station providing a full connection to Langdons Road.

Langdons, Sawyers Arms and Northcote Road intersections

Key features of the proposed cycleway at Langdons, Sawyers Arms and Northcote Road intersections.

Key features of the proposed cycleway at Langdons, Sawyers Arms and Northcote Rd.

Click to enlarge.

  1. A signalised crossing at Langdons Road allows a safe and easy crossing for pedestrians and cyclists.
  2. The crossing at Sawyers Arms Road will be upgraded to traffic signals to improve safety for people travelling on foot and by bike.
  3. The Northern Line route connects to the Papanui Parallel major cycleway which continues down Sawyers Arms Road towards Main North Road.
  4. A new fence crossing will be installed at the railway tracks on the southern side of Northcote Road to improve safety at the level crossing.

The Council are working in partnership with KiwiRail to determine appropriate design treatments at rail crossings.

Tuckers Road

Key features of the proposed cycleway near Tuckers Road.

Key features of the proposed cycleway near Tuckers Road.

Click to enlarge.

  1. Low traffic volumes on Tuckers Road allow for a priority crossing to be retained where people on bikes give way to vehicle drivers. Kerb build outs will reduce the crossingdistance and new flashing lights will be installed at the railway crossing to warn pedestrians and cyclists if a train is coming.
  2. A new shared pedestrian and cycle path begins at Tuckers Road and continues north along the western side of the railway corridor.

The new shared path will look similar to the last section of the route constructed between Northcote Road and Tuckers Road. This includes a fence to provide a barrier to the deep drain along the west side.

Tuckers Road to Sturrocks Road

Key features of the proposed cycleway from Tuckers Road to Sturrocks Road.

Key features of the proposed cycleway from Tuckers Road to Sturrocks Road.

Click to enlarge.

  1. A new shared pedestrian and cycle path continues along the western side of the railway corridor to Sturrocks Road.
  2. Low traffic volumes on Sturrocks Road allow for a priority crossing to be retained where pedestrians and cyclists must give way to traffic. Kerb build outs will reduce the crossing distance and new flashing lights will be installed at the railway crossing to warn pedestrians and cyclists if a train is coming.
  3. The existing pathway through the Barnes Reserve is widened to become a shared pedestrian and cycle path. New lighting through the Barnes Reserve will improve security along the route.

Sturrocks Road connects to Redwood Park where a number of existing pathways provide links to community based activities including the Redwood Library and Northcote Primary School.

Barnes Reserve

Key features of the proposed cycleway near Barnes Reserve.

Key features of the proposed cycleway near Barnes Reserve.

Click to enlarge.

  1. The existing pathway through the Barnes Reserve is widened to become a shared pedestrian and cycle path.
  2. An existing path will provide a connection between the Northern Line route and the Aylsham Reserve to the Regents Park subdivision.
  3. Low traffic volumes on Barnes Road allows for a priority crossing to be retained where pedestrians and cyclists must give way to traffic. New flashing lights will be installed at the railway crossing to warn pedestrians and cyclists if a train is coming.
  4. After Barnes Road, a new shared pedestrian and cyclepath continues north along the western side of the railway corridor.

 Upgrading the existing path through Barnes Reserve means we do not need to build a new path within the railway corridor.

Barnes Road to Main North Road

Key features of the proposed cycleway from Barnes Road to Main North Road.

Key features of the proposed cycleway from Barnes Road to Main North Road.

Click to enlarge.

  1. A new shared pedestrian and cycle path continues along the western side of the railway corridor towards Main North Road.
  2. Some trees will need to be removed within the rail corridor to make room for the new path.
  3. The path narrows from 3.3 m to 2.8 m width for an approximate length of 100 m to minimise effects to the adjacent waterway.

Main North Road overbridge

Key features of the proposed cycleway at the Main North Road overbridge.

Key features of the proposed cycleway at the Main North Road overbridge.

Click to enlarge.

  1. A new shared pedestrian and cycle path continues along the western side of the railway corridor towards Main North Road.
  2. At the overbridge, the path turns north to run parallel to the west side of Main North Road. The area beneath the bridge will be enhanced with treatments such as lighting, new fencing, landscaping and local mural artworks.
  3. The new path will link to the existing shared pedestrian and cycle path on the bridges northern approach. The existing path will be widened to provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists.
  4. The existing painted cycle lanes on the bridge will be retained.

There is opportunity for community involvement in the enhancement of the space under the Main North Road overbridge.

Styx Mill Road intersection

Key features of the proposed cycleway on the Styx Mill Road intersection.

Key features of the proposed cycleway on the Styx Mill Road intersection.

Click to enlarge.

  1. The existing shared pedestrian and cycle path on the northern approach to the overbridge will be widened to provide more space for path users.
  2. The bridge over the Styx River and viewing platform area will be upgraded to accommodate a widened shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.
  3. The signals at the Main North Road and Styx Mill Road intersection will be modified to allow cyclists and pedestrians to safely cross Styx Mill Road. This includes replacing the Give-Way controlled left-turn from Styx Mill Road with signals.
  4. The existing pathway along the western side of Main North Road will be widened to become a shared pedestrian and cycle path.
  5. The existing painted cycle lanes on Main North Road will be retained for experienced cyclists to use.

Styx Mill Road to Radcliffe Road

Key features of the proposed cycleway from Styx Mill Road to Radcliffe Road.

Key features of the proposed cycleway from Styx Mill Road to Radcliffe Road.

Click to enlarge.

  1. The existing pathway along the western side of Main North 
  2. Road will be widened to become a shared pedestrian and Cycle path.

Widening the existing pathway along Main North Road provides a quality interim cycle connection between Northwood and the rail corridor route towards the city.

Radcliffe Road

Key features of the proposed cycleway near Radcliffe Road.

Key features of the proposed cycleway near Radcliffe Road.

Click to enlarge.

  1. The existing pathway along the western side of Main North Road will be widened to become a shared pedestrian and cycle path up to Radcliffe Road.
  2. The existing painted cycle lanes will be retained on Main North Road for experienced cyclists to use.
  3. The route will end at the Radcliffe Road intersection. Users can continue their journey left within the Northwood subdivision, or dismount and use the signalised pedestrian crossing facility to access Northwood Supa Centa.

Alternative routes - Full plans

Hagley Park

Key features of the proposed cycleway by Hagley Park.

 Key features of the proposed cycleway by Hagley Park

Click to enlarge.

  1. The existing shared path will be widened to accommodate additional cyclists.
  2. The Riccarton Road and Deans Avenue intersection will be signalised as part of bus priority improvements and cyclists will cross Riccarton Avenue at the new signals.
  3. The existing shared path which connects Old Blenheim Road to Deans Avenue will be widened and the existing crossing will be upgraded to accommodate additional cyclists.

Cyclists and pedestrians can use the new facility to link to and from both Uni-Cycle Route to the CBD, and South Express Route to Tower Junction.

Tuckers Road

Key features of the proposed cycleway on Tuckers Road.

 Key features of the proposed cycleway on Tuckers Road.

Click to enlarge.

  1. A crossing and additional flashing lights will be installed at the rail track crossing to provide a safer crossing facility.
  2. A new two way cycleway starts at the Tuckers Road crossing and continues along the North side of Tuckers Road to Farnswood Place.
  3. Farnswood Place is a quiet street suitable for a neighbourhood greenway facility. Raised platforms will maintain low speeds and the speed limit will be reduced to 30 km/hr so people who ride bikes feel safer.

A neighbourhood greenway is a slower speed road where the road space is shared

Farnswood Place to Redwood Park

Key features of the proposed cycleway on Farnswood Place to Redwood Park.