Lake-to-Lake Cycling Route

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Work has wrapped on the identification of the location for the lake-to-lake cycling route and construction has been completed on Sections 3 and 4 in the downtown. The City is now working on the detailed design of Section 2 of the route to provide an estimate for consideration as part of the 2022 budget process. The draft detailed design is provided for your information. Additional communication and engagement activities will be conducted if Council supports proceeding with this next section. Information about construction and operation of the route can be found here.


The need for a safe and convenient cycling route through the city and connecting the Okanagan and Skaha lakes was first identified in the 2012 Cycling Plan Update and reaffirmed in the draft of the 2019 Official Community Plan.

Residents and businesses in affected areas along the route will have opportunities to get involved as will the community at large. The City is planning mailouts, a survey, and open houses to involve the community in the development of the plan. Information will be shared through the City’s shapeyourcitypenticton.ca website and anyone wanting to participate is encouraged to register on the site to receive information about the process directly. First you heard of this work? Check out our summary of engagement activities to see all of the different ways the City has involved the community to date.

Work has wrapped on the identification of the location for the lake-to-lake cycling route and construction has been completed on Sections 3 and 4 in the downtown. The City is now working on the detailed design of Section 2 of the route to provide an estimate for consideration as part of the 2022 budget process. The draft detailed design is provided for your information. Additional communication and engagement activities will be conducted if Council supports proceeding with this next section. Information about construction and operation of the route can be found here.


The need for a safe and convenient cycling route through the city and connecting the Okanagan and Skaha lakes was first identified in the 2012 Cycling Plan Update and reaffirmed in the draft of the 2019 Official Community Plan.

Residents and businesses in affected areas along the route will have opportunities to get involved as will the community at large. The City is planning mailouts, a survey, and open houses to involve the community in the development of the plan. Information will be shared through the City’s shapeyourcitypenticton.ca website and anyone wanting to participate is encouraged to register on the site to receive information about the process directly. First you heard of this work? Check out our summary of engagement activities to see all of the different ways the City has involved the community to date.

  • Council receives update on Lake to Lake Cycle route

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    NEWS RELEASE

    Recent consultation with affected landowners, residents and businesses along the proposed Lake-to-Lake Cycle Route was the focus of an update to Penticton City Council during their February 2 regular meeting.

    Starting in early December, City staff began engaging with stakeholders and representatives from individual street blocks along the route, specifically sections three (Fairview Road) and four (Martin Street). Feedback was consistent with concerns expressed during the 2019-2020 community engagement process with the timing of construction and loss of parking being notable challenges for businesses near the route and impacts to vehicle access, garbage collection and loss of street parking being challenges for nearby residents.

    While further design considerations are still needed and additional discussions with stakeholders will continue in the coming weeks, updated design concepts for Fairview Road and Martin Street that reflect the feedback supplied to date are starting to take shape. Notable suggestions include:

    Section 3 – Fairview Road

    Previous Design: Cycle track proposed on east side of the street with north and south bound vehicle lanes separated by a shared vehicle turning lane. Parking on the west side of the street was eliminated.

    Updated Design: Cycle track proposed on east side of street, with parking retained on west side of street. North and South bound vehicle lanes retained.

    Section 4 – Martin Street

    Previous Design: Cycle track proposed along the west side of Martin Street. Existing patios eliminated on west side of Martin Street. ‘Floating’ bus stops required along the west side of Martin Street.

    Updated Design:

    • 700 Block / Library area: Cycle track on east side of street and meanders through the South Green / Library park not impacting future design of this space.
    • 600 Block: Cycle track on east side of street / parallel parking retained on west side of street.
    • 500 Block: Cycle track on east side of street / parallel parking retained on west side of street.
    • 400 Block: Cycle track on east side of street / parallel parking retained on west side of street.
    • 300 Block: Cycle track on east side of street / parallel parking retained / outdoor patios retained.
    • 200 Block: East vehicle lane removed and replaced with cycle track / Revitalization work not impacted / outdoor patios retained.
    • 100 Block: Design options being considered, including a traffic-circle, to ensure safe exit at intersection.

    “Council was pleased to hear that the stakeholder discussions are ongoing and that a number of solutions to the concerns that were previously raised are now coming forward as options for consideration,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki.

    The next update to Council is expected to occur once notification of a sought grant is received, likely at the second meeting in February or first meeting in March 2021.

  • Detailed bike lane design to start with downtown consultation

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    NEWS RELEASE

    Council will hear an update at their meeting on December 8 on the approach to complete the detailed design of the lake-to-lake all ages and abilities bike lane. The next phase of the project will see detail design for Section 4 which runs along Martin St. in the downtown and Section 3 that runs along Fairview Road.

    “There were a number of concerns raised about running the route in the downtown and the potential impact to businesses along Martin St, and a number of solutions have been brought forward by the community,” says Anthony Haddad, Penticton’s General Manager of Community Services which includes the City’s economic development. “Staff have identified some potential options to help mitigate issues that have been identified during the process that we are ready to discuss more formally with the affected businesses and residents.”

    One-on-one meetings with affected businesses are already underway. Based on these discussions, staff are considering hosting workshops to involve affected businesses and stakeholders in the final design of the route in affected sections. Once the detailed design is complete, staff will return to Council for direction before construction proceeds.

    “Early next year, we will also learn about the outcome of our grant request and will be able to provide Council with more information on funding options before a decision is made on how to proceed,” says Haddad. If the grant is successful and with the completion of the detailed design on the northern sections, construction could begin as early as this spring and will avoid construction during the busier summer season. Depending on the outcome of this next phase, staff will bring forward options to complete the detailed design for the remaining two sections at a later date.

    “Council is very interested in receiving staff’s update on December 8. This next phase should help to answer some of the bigger questions that still remain on the lake-to-lake route,” says Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki. “We’re hopeful the one-on-one conversations getting underway will bring further understanding around the concerns raised by the downtown business community and move us closer to realizing the exciting vision for this cycling route that will be for use by all residents and visitors throughout the city.”

  • Next steps will confirm design for Lake-to-Lake Bike Route

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    NEWS RELEASE

    Following Council’s decision yesterday to amend the Official Community Plan to include a map of the recommended location for the Lake-to-Lake All Ages and Abilities Bike Route, the City is outlining what residents and businesses can expect next in the process.

    “With this decision, Council has given staff the mandate needed to complete the detailed design of the route,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki. “In this next phase, the City can formally consider all of the feedback gathered through the engagement process and the public hearing and work with residents and businesses to mitigate the issues and realize the vision for the route.”

    Through the recent public hearing and year-long engagement process, the City has identified a number of issues to address in the detailed design of the route. In this next phase, the City will work with property owners to address concerns about safety, security, parking, traffic, access and site specific impacts as well as identify opportunities for amenities, signage and education. Efforts will start at the north end of the route with the downtown section and work south.

    “Council really sees this route as an investment in the future of transportation in the city,” said Mayor Vassilaki. “With this route, current and future generations will have an affordable, safe and environmental way to access commercial centres and popular destinations across our city. I encourage all properties along the route to see the opportunities the route can create and to participate in developing the detailed plan.”

    Staff intend to return to Council with an update on the work to complete the detailed design in the new year. With a formal decision about the location of the route, staff are also able to make application for grants that are available from provincial and federal governments while the detailed design of the route is completed.

    “Once the detailed design is complete, Council will have a further opportunity to consider the cost and plan for this route, how it can be funded and how to proceed,” said Mayor Vassilaki.

  • Preferred location of the Lake-to-Lake Bike Route – have we heard from you?

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    NEWS RELEASE

    The City of Penticton is nearing the end of a one-year process to identify a preferred route to locate a bike lane travelling from Skaha Lake to Okanagan Lake. With the supporting community engagement process set to wind-down this month, City staff are again reminding residents to reach out.

    “Have we heard from you? Creating a lake-to-lake bike route that meets the requirements of an All Ages and Abilities (AAA) Bike Lane remains a central focus of this project, but equally important is exploring how the chosen route can successfully integrate into existing streetscapes, building access, traffic patterns and parking usage,” said the City’s Communication Manager, Philip Cooper.

    “Communicating your feedback now will benefit and influence upcoming discussions concerning how the bike lane is designed along a preferred route and what that design will cost. If you have any concerns, please call 250-490-2586 or send an email to getconnected@penticton.ca to ensure your feedback is heard and understood.”

    By way of thousands of comments collected over a twelve-month period, similar inquiries have often emerged, including the following top five most frequently asked questions and answers. A full Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is available at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca or at City Hall.

    Does the community support a lake-to-lake all ages and abilities bike route?

    At the start of this project, the City invited residents to complete a questionnaire to gauge their interest. The City heard from 1,068 participants and 82 per cent supported the creation of this route. While the City was pleased with this initial level of participation, the reason the City is pursuing this work is to support active transportation in Penticton for the health and environmental benefits as well as to support affordable and alternative modes of transportation. This was identified as a priority for the community in the creation of the 2019 Official Community Plan.

    Do we have enough cyclists to support a route?

    Through the initial questionnaire, the City learned that the number one reason that Penticton residents don’t cycle today is fear for their safety. This is consistent with other communities and the reason behind the creation of the All Ages and Abilities (AAA) route criteria. The creation of protected routes is not intended to support those that cycle today but those that would cycle if they felt safe and if it was convenient.

    Why was the path by the channel not considered?

    The path by the channel is outside of Penticton city limits on land owned by the Penticton Indian Band. This is a great path for recreational riders but it does not meet the goal of this project to provide direct and convenient access to popular destinations and economic centres throughout the city.

    Why is the City identifying a location for the lake-to-lake route during the pandemic?

    There are several reasons for completing the work to identify the location for the lake-to-lake route now:

    • The work began in 2019 before the pandemic. To not complete the work to identify the route risks wasting this initial investment. Additionally, once the City determines the route, Council can decide when and how they would like to see it implemented.
    • The provincial and federal governments have announced a number of grants to support economic recovery. Some of these grants are designed to support the creation of green infrastructure and active transportation. The City needs to have a completed plan in order to be eligible for these grants.
    • There is a surge in interest in cycling as a result of the pandemic. Local bike shops are struggling to keep up with demand and cities such as Kelowna that have counters on their bike routes are seeing an increase in use of up to 50 per cent. There is a growing interest in cycling as a form of transportation and recreational activity.
    • The work to identify the lake-to-lake route is one of many initiatives that the City has underway. While the priority is on addressing the crisis created by the pandemic and collaborating with all levels of government to address the homeless and addiction issues in Penticton, the City is also looking to the future and advancing many initiatives such as restoring flood protection on the Penticton and Ellis Creeks, developing a plan to address the childcare shortage, upgrading or replacing water and wastewater infrastructure, improving the safety of intersections and roads, and planning for active transportation needs.

    How will it be funded?

    If the location is approved and Council decides to proceed, the project will need to be part of the City’s 2021-2025 Financial Plan. The City will apply for grants from the provincial government to fund a portion of the project. The remainder may be funded through taxation, the Electrical Dividend, Gas Tax funds and potentially borrowing. A number of factors will need to be considered by Council in making their decision on whether or not to proceed with the route including funding required for other capital projects.

  • Last phase of bike lane engagement to target properties along proposed route

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    NEWS RELEASE

    The community engagement project determining the location of an “all ages and abilities” bike route extending from Skaha Lake to Okanagan Lake is now entering its final leg. Starting this week, attention will be directed at collecting feedback from specific properties along the four sections of roadway that could form the route, specifically portions of South Main Street, Atkinson Street, Fairview Road and Martin Street.

    “During this final phase of engagement, we’re looking to gather feedback from homes and businesses located along the proposed route with the goal of understanding any impacts that would influence the location and design of the route,” said the City’s Engagement Strategist, JoAnne Kleb.

    Affected homes and businesses will receive a letter in the mail identifying their home or business as being located along the proposed preferred route. They will have the opportunity to watch videos, participate in online information sessions, speak with staff and complete feedback forms to share their thoughts.

    The City is also inviting input from the overall community by way of a feedback form posted to the City’s engagement website – www.shapeyourcitypenticton.ca. Printed copies are also available at City Hall, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the City’s engagement kiosk. Feedback will be collected until October 18, 2020.

    “If you’ve been putting off providing feedback, or you’re someone who’s just learning about this project now, we encourage you to get involved in the process while the window for engagement remains open and staff are actively gathering feedback,” said Kleb.

    Through this final phase of engagement, the City is also preparing cost estimates based on the proposed preferred option. The information gathered in this last phase will be shared with Council for a decision on the location of the route and support plans for detailed design and implementation.

  • Route selection for proposed bike lane nears final engagement phase

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    NEWS RELEASE

    During its upcoming meeting scheduled for September 15, 2020, Penticton City Council will receive an update on the work completed to date to determine a proposed preferred route for a bike lane running from Skaha Lake to Okanagan Lake.

    Commencing in the fall of 2019, the process of choosing a proposed preferred route has now proceeded through three phases of community engagement. In phase one of the engagement process, the community confirmed their interest in a central bike lane connecting both lakes; in phase two the public was asked to comment on which neighbourhoods and streets are best suited to build bike lanes and, most recently, during phase three, the pros and cons of individual route options through the downtown were discussed.

    As each phase of the engagement process was completed, staff returned to Council with a summary of the community’s feedback, along with an overview of next steps in the engagement process.

    For the fourth and final round of engagement, owners and tenants with properties neighbouring the proposed preferred route, which comprises South Main St., Atkinson St., Fairview Road and Martin St., will be encouraged to comment on how a bike lane along their section of road may or may not impact their residence or place of business.

    More information about the possible design of the proposed preferred route and the impacts to intersections will be shared in preparation of the final round of engagement, which staff is recommending occur from September 16 through to mid October.

    “On September 15, staff will present the proposed preferred route to Council and seek their confirmation to proceed to a fourth and final round of engagement,” said the City’s Engagement Strategist, JoAnne Kleb. “Until now, our engagement process has focused on communicating and explaining the concept of a lake-to-lake bike lane, along with exploring options on where best to build it. For this final phase of engagement, attention shifts towards the specific streets that could form a route and understanding how the integration of a bike lane impacts adjacent homes or businesses.”

    Despite hosting a dozen engagement opportunities over a 10-month period, combined with regular advertising and media coverage, the City anticipates some property owners and tenants along the proposed preferred route may be unfamiliar with the project.

    “Past efforts to share information and generate awareness is no guarantee everyone’s informed,” said the City’s Communication Manager, Philip Cooper. “Potentially affected individuals can quickly get up to speed by reviewing the information resources located on the City’s engagement website - www.shapeyourcitypenticton.ca. If you’ve been putting off providing feedback or you’re someone who’s just learning about this project now, we encourage you to get involved in the process while the window for engagement remains open and staff are actively gathering feedback.”

  • More downtown involvement needed in lake-to-lake cycling route

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    The City is looking for more input before finalizing the preferred option for the downtown section of the lake-to-lake cycling route.

    “We started with five different options for the downtown leg of the route and with the results of the technical analysis and the public input we have received to date, we have been able to narrow it down to two,” says City Engineer Ian Chapman.

    The two options to be discussed further include one that would see a two-way cycle track replace the parking on the west side of Martin St. and a second that would see protected bicycle lanes replace the parking on both sides of Winnipeg St.

    “The Martin St. option is favoured as it is direct and would have the least impact on parking and traffic but we also heard from many cyclists who believe that Winnipeg St. would provide a better experience,” says Chapman. “We’d like to have a further discussion with residents and businesses in the downtown before we land on the preferred option.”

    All residents and businesses in the downtown and especially those located along the options being considered are invited to participate in one of two public meetings to help confirm the preferred option. The meetings will be held at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre on March 25 between 6:30 pm and 8 pm and March 26 between 5 pm and 6:30 pm.

    “The downtown is likely the most challenging section of the route,” says Engagement Strategist JoAnne Kleb. “We’re not convinced we have heard from enough of the residents and businesses who could be affected and it is important that they be involved at this early stage of the process.”

    Once the preferred option is determined for the downtown section of the route, the City will introduce the preferred options for each of the four sections and invite further discussion with the community in the final phase of engagement before making a recommendation to Council.

    The work to identify the lake-to-lake route began last September with the Pedal Penticton event that had attendance of approximately 500 and generated more than 1,000 feedback forms with 93% either somewhat or strongly in support of a lake-to-lake route. This past December, the City shared the options for each of the four sections of the route with the community at two open houses that were attended by over 400 residents and generated over 200 feedback forms.
  • Discuss the options for the lake-to-lake cycling route

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    The City is ready to share the options for the lake-to-lake cycling route. A technical review has been completed and a report detailing the options is now posted at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca. Paper copies are also available at City Hall.

    “Our consultants reviewed a number of possible streets to identify options that meet the technical and safety requirements of an ‘all ages and abilities’ cycling route,” says City Engineer Ian Chapman.

    “We’ve got a good starting point for our discussions with the community and are looking forward to hearing what residents and businesses think about the route options proposed for affected neighborhoods.”

    The review evaluated the roads suggested in the 2012 Cycling Plan Update as well as additional nearby roads that may be suitable for an ‘all ages and abilities’ route. Major roads such as Main Street south of Eckhardt Ave and Skaha Lake Road were not considered due to the number of driveways and intersections which would reduce the level of protection for cyclists. The options identified in the review were vetted with local traffic safety experts and stakeholders representing ICBC, BC Transit, RCMP, the business community and local cyclists and the City is now ready to discuss them with residents.

    “Through the Pedal Penticton event this summer, a thousand people let us know how important it is to provide a safe cycling route through the city,” says Mayor John Vassilaki. “We hope to see this momentum continue and that people will take advantage of the opportunities to get involved and discuss the options for what is sure to be a signature amenity for our city.”

    Citizens will have their first chance to discuss the lake-to-lake route options at the 3 ‘Hot’ Topics open houses in early December. On Dec. 4 between 3 pm and 7 pm at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and Dec. 5 at the same time at the Penticton Seniors’ Drop-in Centre, staff will be on hand to discuss work on the Lake-to-Lake Cycling Route, the Skaha Lake Park East Plan, and the 2020-2024 Business and Financial Plans. Feedback on the lake-to-lake route options will be collected during the open houses and online starting Nov. 28 through to Dec. 19.

    The City has also created a flyer to notify residents and businesses along the possible routes about the work and opportunities to get involved. The flyer will be mailed out to approximately 6,000 properties in the city. Copies are also available at City Hall and electronically through www.shapeyourcitypenticton.ca.


  • Highlights from Pedal Penticton questionnaire

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    Staff shared an update on the outcome of the Pedal Penticton event and questionnaire at Council's meeting on November 5. Highlights from the questionnaire results include:

    • The questionnaire ran for two weeks from September 7 to 21 and was available at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca. Paper copies were also provided at City Hall and at the Community Centre.
    • The questionnaire received a very good response. A total of 1,068 questionnaires were received including 99 responses from the random sample. The majority of participants (84%) were from Penticton and over half (51%) were in the 40-64 age group. The 19-39 and 65+ made up the remaining participation at 21% and 26% respectively.
    • The majority of participants (71%) are active cyclists. Their main reasons for cycling are for leisure or recreation and fitness or training. For those that do not cycle, the main reason cited is that they do not feel safe on the road.
    • Most of the participants were not familiar with City’s plans for cycling with 75% rating their awareness of the 2012 Cycling Plan including the vision for a lake-to-lake route as poor or fair.
    • Despite not being aware of the City’s plans, most of the participants believe it is somewhat or very important that the City support cycling as an alternate form of transportation (93%) and provide safe cycling routes (95%). They also somewhat or strongly agree that protected or separated bike lanes are a benefit to drivers as well as cyclists (93%).
    • Most participants (93%) also somewhat or strongly agree that it is important that the City provide a lake-to-lake route for cyclists of all ages and abilities and believe their interest in cycling is somewhat or very likely (81%) to increase with the creation of the route.
    • Participants were asked about their interest in maintaining the route to allow for year-round use. 55% said it is very important and 29% said it is somewhat important. 57% would support an increase in the budget for snow clearing and ice control. 21% would support an increase with conditions such as if it is well used by cyclists, if other modes of transportation are allowed (i.e. mobility scooters), and if roads and sidewalks are the priority.
    • Participants were also asked their opinions about some of the compromises that may be required to add a route. 67% were open to removing a driving lane in some sections and an additional 15% were open to the idea depending on the location and as along as the roads can handle the traffic. 69% were open to removing on-street parking in some sections while 16% were not open to removing parking. 74% would support budget increases for road widening to keep the travel lanes and add the bike lanes.
    The questionnaire also invited participants to provide comments to explain their responses. The following is a selection of the comments that reflect some of the main themes.

    • “As a senior and from my assessment of the bike lanes currently used, users feel safe when in the bike lane and in general motorists drive carefully through areas where bike lanes are identified.” • “While I do drive a vehicle and sometimes find the separated bike lanes to be annoying I prefer to think of the separate lanes to be safer over all.”
    • “Bike lanes are great if they don't impede on a business by making it unsafe to exit or enter the business parking, if they don't make it unsafe for deliveries of that business.”
    • “Cyclists could access restaurants and shops, improve merchant's business, and have a viable north south route.”
    • “Why should our tax dollars go to support cycling? What percent of the population actually cycles?”
    • “The roads are for cars. Bikes don’t need insurance but if they hit us people in vehicles we are responsible.”
    • “I think an improvement in safe cycling routes would encourage more families and other cyclists in general to choose cycling rather than driving. The weather and terrain in this city is very cycling friendly.”
    • “Commuting cycling is a GREAT economical way to get exercise and leads to a physically, mentally and financially happier community! Especially with the increase in E-Bike use, a protected bike lane would be well used IMO!”
    • “The snow and ice control be carried out as a pilot project for two years, identifying if cyclists are using the routes, and a cost : benefit analysis; the usage would be ranked, with the highest use routes continuing with regular snow clearing and ice control.”
  • Pedal Penticton event kicks off lake-to-lake route engagement

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    Residents are invited to Pedal Penticton to learn more about and try some of the innovations that are making it possible for all ages and abilities to cycle in the city. The event is planned for September 7 from 9 am to 1 pm at Gyro Park and will kick off upcoming engagement activities for the lake-to-lake cycling route.

    “The lake-to-lake route is going to make it possible for more people to consider cycling as an alternate form of transportation and part of a healthy lifestyle,” says Engagement Strategist JoAnne Kleb. “Before we start conversations about where the route should go and what it should look like, we want people to see what is possible. We hope the event attracts experienced cyclists but also people who may need more encouragement to ride.”

    Staff will be on hand to discuss the lake-to-lake route and plans to involve the community but there will also be a number of exhibits for attendees to explore:

    • Bike Barn and Freedom Bikes will offer demos of e-bikes.
    • Cycling Without Age will offer rides in their popular trishaws.
    • Penticton and Area Cycling Association will decorate bikes with the kids at 10 am and lead a community ride at 11 am.
    • Hoodoo Adventures will set up their Sprockets mountain bike course in the park for young children.
    • Recreation Penticton will entertain the kids with outdoor games and bikes including accessible bikes and mini-bikes.
    • ICBC will be on hand to discuss the rules of the road for the safety of cyclists and drivers.
    • Interior Health will share the importance of active transportation to a healthy community.
    • City of Penticton transportation consultants will share how bike lane design has evolved to accommodate the needs of drivers and cyclists.
    • Free bike parking will be available at Gyro Park through the Bike Valet service.

    The display materials shared at the event will also be available at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca. Residents are invited to sign up on the site to stay informed about opportunities to get involved in the lake-to-lake route engagement process.

Page last updated: 08 Dec 2021, 04:34 PM