It is only a few months since I was talking about E-bikes in my last Conservation Comment, but things are changing fast so I thought I would write another one as an update.

One of the things I have recently learned is that the AA does provide a break down service for E-bikes.

This means that if you are unfortunate enough to get a puncture or break a chain then they will come and help get you home.

Read more: Conservation comment: Slips follow poor land use
Conservation comment: Conservation has a new meaning
Conservation Comment: Children save native plants


Of course you have to be a paid up member which is fair enough. You would also have to get your bike to a road end if you were in the back country.

The Whanganui District Council has started work on the section of cycleway from where a new bridge is to be built just south of Upokongaro down through upper Aramoho.

Presumably this will link up with existing road cycle lanes and shared pathways which peter out near the railway crossing by the shopping centre.

The sites for both towers of the new swing bridge have been cleared and the job is to be done over summer with completion about May 2019.

The article in the Whanganui Chronicle recently, quoted council staff as saying that the former proposal to have State Highway 4 as the route into the city is too dangerous and would not be developed.

I hope that if this is correct it is only short term.

While the route crossing the awa is definitely great for cyclists coming along the whole trail, I predict the vast majority of users will be Whanganui locals.

They would like nothing better than a round trip; up one side and back down the other.


In my view the most dangerous part of State Highway 4 south of Upokongaro is the Mateongaonga Stream bridge.

Not only is it on a bend with poor approach visibility, but there is no shoulder nor any footpath.

However I believe that to develop Kaimatira Rd and No. 2 line should be considered as an alternative until the bridge can be funded for an upgrade.

Alternatively the city speed restriction, currently of 50kph, could be extended the few hundred metres to include this bridge which would make it much safer for everyone.

I, like presumably many others, find the new layout of some city intersections a little confusing.

Some have a right only arrow lane while others have a left only one and I wonder if there is a rule about this or how everything is decided and by whom?

Once you get to know, it will be straight forward, but for visitors to our city especially at night or in the rain, how do you get in the correct lane without almost getting on top of the arrows to see which way they point?

It will take time and so it will be for cyclists using their dedicated lanes.

For visitors, whether on bikes or in cars we need to show patience and consideration.

*Ridgway Lythgoe is a retired DoC officer, keen environmentalist, tramper, traveller and more lately an avid E-biker.