Section of mountain bike track closed

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CLOSE: The Te Mata Park Trust have decided to close a section of the mountain bike track while they investigate the mountain bike accident which happened last Tuesday. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN.
CLOSE: The Te Mata Park Trust have decided to close a section of the mountain bike track while they investigate the mountain bike accident which happened last Tuesday. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN.

The Te Mata Park Trust has closed a section of mountain bike track following the tragic accident last week.

John Warren who was mountain biking on the peak fell off a track and died last Tuesday evening.

Trustee Michael Bate said the trust have since closed part of the uphill mountain bike track while investigations continued into the mountain bike accident.

"We have all been shocked and concerned about last week's accident. While the park is a natural environment and there is an element of risk in any such area, we want to ensure the public are as safe as possible," he said.

"Closing part of the uphill mountain bike track gives us time to assess the area where the accident happened and gather as much information as possible from those investigating the accident."

He said this would then allow the trust to make careful decisions around how they mitigate risk in the future.

Mr Bate said since the part of the uphill mountain bike track had been closed, there were reports of mountain bikers using the adjacent walking track which he said was dangerous for bikers to do.

He asked riders to respect the 'track closed' signs and use the road for the final part of their uphill ride.

"Safety barriers have been installed to prevent mountain bikers diverting to the walking track. The signs show clearly which tracks are for biking. For everyone's safety we ask that bikers keep to the bike tracks."

Mr Bate said the new mountain biking tracks have difficulty grade signs and there are signs in place informing riders of which tracks they can use and in what direction they should be travelling.

The Trust will install additional signs over the coming days as well as review overall park signage.

"We are grateful for the help of the Hastings District Council and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council who are assisting us in assessing safety issues and operating the Park."

"Te Mata Park is used by hundreds of people daily without incident, but we need to be prudent following what has happened and take a step back to look at everything we do to ensure those who use the park can do so as safely as possible."

A blessing of the site and karakia was held last week and was attended by John Warren's wife Shannon as well as several park Trustees and other people.

"We again offer our deepest sympathies to Shannon Warren as well as the rest of John Warren's family. The Trust is humbled by the donations it is receiving to its Givealittle page in John's memory and will work with Shannon Warren to decide where she would like the funds used within the Park."

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