Take a punt on Clydevale bridge bungy jumping

Back in 2016 our district council began its highly successful “Our Place” initiative. Since then community plans have gradually been developed for seven of the nine wards that make up the Clutha District, and the implementation of these plans is under way. Some projects have been completed or close to completion.

Having trialled and perfected the process in those other communities, it is now time to focus on the final two wards: Clinton, and the jewel in the Clutha crown, the Clutha Valley. . . no prizes for guessing where we live!

Our mayor, Bryan Cadogan, along with the local councillors, have been out and about in Clinton and Clutha Valley, holding meetings to explain the process and seek feedback on where the people in these communities would like to see the money spent.

Hopefully, if you live in either of these areas, you have had chance to get along and have your say.

During quieter moments in my day (when I’m not asleep at my desk) I have recently been putting some thought into projects and improvements that I would like to see incorporated into Clutha Valley’s plan.

One idea that sprang to mind very quickly was to upgrade the iconic punt at Tuapeka Mouth.

In recent months the river level has been so low that poor Tom, the skipper, has hardly been able to set sail. What’s the point of boasting the only such ferry in the southern hemisphere if it rarely sees any action?

My suggestion is put some wheels on the thing. That’s right, turn the punt into an amphibious vessel so that it can operate every day, regardless of the river level.

I had another light-bulb moment when I was driving across the Clydevale bridge the other day.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to stop for a quick bungy jump? People are busy these days; who’s got time to drive two and a-half hours to Queenstown and blow $200 on a bungy jump?

Imagine how many visitors we’d pull in from Dunedin, as well as other parts of South Otago, if bungy jumping was available just a short drive away.

And, at only 10 metres or thereabouts, the jump itself would be over and done with a lot quicker, giving you more time to enjoy a lunch and pint at the Greenfield Tavern.

And while we’re on the subject of the Clydevale bridge, why not achieve something that 1.6 million Aucklanders couldn’t pull off for their bridge? Attach a cycle lane to it.

Cycling is already very popular and, with the advent of e-bikes, is only going to get more so.

A cycle lane across the Clutha River would be great for cyclists exploring our region and would provide a safe (and law-abiding) way for patrons living on Clydevale’s south bank to get home after a long evening at the Greenfield Tavern.

In the unlikely event that you can come up with any better suggestions for Clutha Valley’s community plan, you have until March 24 to submit your ideas to the council. Do it now.