Trial to improve city to coast connections begins

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Published: 15 Dec 2022

A new Timaru CityTown trial to explore how road layout changes could improve amenity for people walking and biking is underway and seeking public feedback.

The Port Loop Road Shared Path Trial is exploring safe and convenient ways for pedestrians, runners, cyclists, scooters, and other active modes to move between Caroline Bay, Timaru Port, the coastal trail network, and the CBD via the Strathallan footbridge. It has been supported by a $1.1 million grant from the Waka Kotahi ‘Streets for People’ programme.

Timaru District Council Land Transport Manager, Susannah Ratahi, said she is looking forward to seeing the community interact with the trial, and is keen to get their feedback.

“This is great opportunity to explore what improvements could be made for the benefit of everyone who travels through this area,” she said.

“Port Loop Road is an integral connection between the coast, the city and the port, and a balance needs to be struck between safety and amenity for people walking and biking and heavy trucks accessing the port.

“The funding received through the Streets for People programme enables us to try out a few different options and work with our community to help decide what works best before we make any permanent changes.”

Kathryn King, Manager Urban Mobility, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency said: “We’re excited to be working with the Timaru District Council on the Port Loop Shared Path Trial.

“This is the first project in the Streets for People programme to get underway and will provide a safer and more welcoming environment for those who want to walk and cycle on the Port Loop Road.

“Its going to be great to hear from the Timaru community about their views on the improvements.”

The trial has been developed in collaboration with a range of community stakeholders and will be rolled out in two phases:

  • First phase - 15 December 2022 to 27 January 2023
  • Second phase 28 January to end of March 2023

The first phase is focused on extending the road space to allow for a two-directional cycle lane, reallocating truck parking to create more space between the road and pedestrians, temporarily reducing speed limits and installing some aesthetic improvements including wayfinding signage that invites people from the Port/Bay into Timaru city centre.

“Installation of the first phase also coincides with the return of cruise ships to Timaru and will help encourage foot traffic into town by provding clearer wayfinding and environmental improvements,” said Ratahi.

Phase two of the trial will add further elements and improve on the functionality and amenity of the first phase, using feedback from the community.

CityTown Programme Manager, Rosie Oliver, encourages the public to experience the trial and provide feedback.

“We are eager to hear what people think and have a range of ways our communities can provide feedback.

This is one of several interactive CityTown trials coming this summer, so along with the return of some of Timaru’s big summer events there’s lots to look forward to. Our community has a real opportunity to help shape the future of Timaru’s urban centre.”

The Port Loop Trial will be followed by a water main renewal on Port Loop Road in autumn/winter 2023. Community feedback from the trial will be used to inform permanent changes to Port Loop Road to be installed after the water main renewal during the 2023/23 construction season.

To provide feedback and find more information about this and other upcoming CityTown trials:

  • Visit
  • Drop in and chat to us in our project space at 184 Stafford Street, Timaru Wednesdays 11am - 2pm or by appointment.
  • Email

Last updated: 15 Dec 2022