Use of the Peninsula Track during lockdown has led to the conclusion that it is not working as a dual use track in these difficult times. We have written to the Council this morning requesting that the Track be restricted to walkers. Here is what we said:
Dual use Tracks: Kelvin Peninsula Track
Kelvin Peninsula Community Association requests the Council closes the Kelvin Peninsula Track to cyclists with immediate effect for the duration of COVID-19 Alert Level 4 (or equivalent Alert Level 3 local travel limitations).
The Track is experiencing significant increase in both walkers of all ages and cyclists. It is apparent that a significant number of cyclists:
- are not local to Kelvin Peninsula;
- travel at excessive speed given the dual use of the Track and its often narrow and winding nature;
- show little regard for other users of the Track, do not have or use a bell and create a real risk of injury; and
- cannot observe the necessary physical distancing because of the nature of the Track.
KPCA notes the latest Ministry of Health notice – https://covid19.govt.nz/assets/resources/Legislation-and-key-documents/COVID-19-Section-701f-Notice-to-all-persons-in-New-Zealand-3-April-2020-v2.PDF – states that exercise is permitted in “an outdoor place that can be readily accessed from their residence” and provided the physical distancing requirements are observed.
The accompanying press release from Police and Health, makes it clear that we should “stay local, apply common sense and not do anything that could risk exposure to injury or require search and rescue services” (https://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/additional-guidelines-alert-level-4-rules-0).
KPCA also notes that the QLDC has said via its FaceBook page that the physical distancing requirements apply to the use of its tracks. Experience shows that this physical distancing is not possible for cyclists given the current levels of use of Kelvin Peninsula Track.
Residents and visitors in lockdown on Kelvin Peninsula who wish to exercise by cycling can safely do so on Peninsula Road given the low number of cars on the road during Alert Level 4.
We appreciate that this issue may well apply to many of the Council’s tracks, but none-the-less ask that this be dealt with as a matter of urgency at least in relation to the Kelvin Peninsula Track.