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Oamaru’s new learn-to-ride bike park at Friendly Bay has earned the thumbs-up from the young people who used it for the first time last Saturday.

The park was more than two and a-half years in the making and followed an extensive planning process as well as more than four months of construction.

The park features road markings, replica street signs and a roundabout in a controlled environment covering 720sq m.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher cut a red ribbon to officially open the $250,000 bike park, giving about 30 children the cue to jump on to their bikes and scooters to give it a test run.

Deputy Mayor Melanie Tavendale spearheaded the project.Cr Tavendale said the feedback was “glowing”.

“The response from the public has been 100% positive.

“I think people were really excited,” Cr Tavendale said.”

A limited number of children got to use the park immediately after the formalities to make sure it didn’t get too congested or any accidents occurred, she said.

Mr Kircher said the bike park had been well used since it opened and he was sure it would attract young people from around the district and beyond.

“There was a lot of eager young people wanting to have a go on the track. It was a chance to finish off what has been well over two years’ work to get to this point.”

A “climbing tower” would be added, along with picnic tables and bike racks, he said.

The council committed about $130,000 to the project and approved plans for the park in 2015.

Last October, the Otago Community Trust added $55,000 and the project was completed with the assistance of the Friendly Bay Railway Bridge Restoration Trust.