A new section of an off-road cycle trail along a busy and "problematic" Havelock North road has been given the go-ahead.
The trail, which is part of the Waimarama Rd Cycle Trail Safety Upgrade project, will run between Te Mata Rd and Craggy Range winery in an attempt to improve safety for cyclists and motorists.
The project will build a "safer, off-road replacement" to a section of the Hawke's Bay Trails Landscapes Ride that runs along the 80km/h road, which has been deemed "a safety risk" by New Zealand Cycle Trail.
Hastings District Council and Hawke's Bay Regional Council, along with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and the Eastern Central Community Trust, proposed the jointly funded development.
The three-month project is due to start this month.
At a hui-ā-hapū with Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga in February last year, the project was endorsed.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the new trail along the "problematic" section will keep everyone safe.
"We wanted to find a way to keep people safe when cycling these trails that take in some of the most magnificent landscape Hawke's Bay has to offer," she said.
"Given this area is important culturally and in archaeological terms, we have been discussing the project with interested parties for several months now to ensure everyone is comfortable about the project."
In addition, Heritage New Zealand archaeological approval was sought and given.
At times during the project, an archaeologist will be onsite when work is being done on critical areas, accompanied by a cultural expert as necessary.
Hastings District Council has also worked with local landowners over alignments and land requirements.
The existing 3km on-road section of the trail is part of the wider 200km Hawke's Bay Trails Landscapes Ride network - one of Aotearoa's 22 Great Rides.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council chairman Rex Graham noted "amazing growth" in the number of people walking and cycling Hawke's Bay Trails for recreation, tourism, health and travel last year.
"It has actually made us the busiest network in New Zealand," he said.
"With increased numbers it means the safety of people using our trails is even more important."
Because the work, which is due for completion in April, is happening off-road, no road closures are needed.