Kids' bike track 'just like the real thing'

By Roger Moroney

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A Junior Bike Track complete with traffic lights, roundabouts and traffic signs, will be officially opened on Marine Parade in eight days' time.

It is the second stage of the Napier City Council's Marine Parade "enhancement" plan, following the extension to the childrens' playground to cater for older children - which was completed in January, next door.

The Junior Bike Track - a realistic miniaturised layout of roads complete with traffic lights, roundabouts and traffic signs - is designed to be a safe and fun place for youngsters to develop their cycling skills.

"Parents will enjoy bringing their children and bikes to the track, teaching them new road skills and then watching them practise in the safety of this new facility," Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott said, adding she was delighted to see the ongoing progress of the council's "Big Picture" plan for the Marine Parade.

The free-to-use facility will be officially opened at 11am on Sunday, May 26 with Hawke's Bay Police school community officers forming part of a special two-hour programme of activities to assist children in developing cycling skills.

Hot dogs and spot prizes will form part of the off-road activities.

The facility is based on similar ones overseas and was suggested to the council by entrepreneur Rod Drury.

It was also picked up by Napier MP Chris Tremain as a means to both revitalise the Marine Parade as well as create a way for people to develop a lifetime relationship with the Bay from an early age.

Council agreed, and said it was a valuable component to the plan of making Napier a "kids capital" which would appeal to holidaying families as well as locals.

"I was impressed with the openness of council and their attitude to get this project across the line so quickly," Mr Drury said.

Mayor Arnott said the next two developments of the Big Picture plan were under way.

Neighbouring the Junior Bike Track, and stretching toward the National Aquarium, will be landscaped gardens, picnic and barbecue areas and a water feature.

It is set to be completed and opened before the end of winter.

The other addition to the parade is an ocean viewing platform which is being built as part of the stormwater upgrade. It will open later in the year.

"Marine Parade has always had so much to offer and now with these projects underway ... it is quickly turning into something pretty special that both locals and visitors can enjoy even more," Mrs Arnott said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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