Whanganui's newest shared pathway - Te Tuaiwi (The Spine) - has been officially opened by Transport Minister Phil Twyford.

Twyford, in town for the Labour Party conference this weekend, did the ribbon-cutting honours at Whanganui Intermediate School on Friday afternoon.

Te Tuaiwi is a 2.3km long, 3 metre wide pathway, built at a cost of $2.2 million mostly funded by Government.

"Te Tuaiwi increases transport options and will give walkers and cyclists safer access to the Whanganui city centre," Twyford said.

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"It will help them avoid busy intersections, driveways and parking spaces. And with a number of schools close to the pathway route, it will also give students improved access to school.

"The Whanganui District Council has also been extremely supportive of the project, as it encourages walking and cycling, and safe alternative transport options for children, elderly and people with a physical disability."

The pathway runs from the Whanganui City Bridge, through the central city via St Hill St and past a number of city schools. It continues alongside the rail line from Nelson St to London St (State Highway 3), with a barrier fence separating users from the rail line.

The construction of the pathway has been completed and new traffic lights on the crossing by the rail line in Glasgow St should be operating soon.