Delays Frustrate

There are still no signs of action on a proposal to convert Dunedin's Caversham Valley rail tunnel for use by pedestrians and cyclists. 

The idea of public access to the tunnel was first raised in 1908, and has been revisited several times since 1978.

However, councillors at this week's Dunedin City Council infrastructure services committee meeting voted for a review of the idea, with more information on costs and other issues - such as land ownership - needed.

The review would be carried out next year, before any funding application was made to the New Zealand Transport Agency, councillors decided.

Last week, Old Caversham Rail Tunnel group spokesman Gerard Hyland, of Dunedin, told the Otago Daily Times a report into the proposal by council staff was "frustrating" and "a missed opportunity".

The report recommended either launching the review or doing nothing, after indicating work to convert the tunnel could cost from $250,000 to $750,000.

Work required included paving, lighting and protecting electric and water utility services inside the tunnel.

Mr Hyland disputed those figures during a presentation to councillors at Monday's meeting, saying they were "vague" and should be discounted.

He suggested a charitable trust be established - with the DCC as a partner - to co-ordinate fundraising for the project.

From Otago Daily Times, Chris Morris