10 May 2019

Government pledge $5.8 million to continue bike and footpath upgrades

| Lachlan Roberts
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footpath upgrades

Labor’s Alicia Payne, Chief Minister Andrew Barr, David Smith and Chris Steel announced the upgrades. Photo: Supplied.

The ACT Government and an elected-Federal Labor Government have pledged $5.8 million to continue footpath and cycleway upgrades across the ACT.

Through a joint funding agreement between the Federal and ACT governments, key cycle and footpath links in Kambah, Mitchell, Lyons, Belconnen and the Inner North will be built or upgraded on top of the Government’s $30 million investment in the network since 2016.

The promised funding will go towards projects on Sulwood Drive in Kambah, a shared path to link the EPIC light rail stop to Mitchell and separate walking and cycling paths around the Australian National University.

The $4 million Sulwood Drive project will link Sulwood Drive between Drakeford Drive and Athllon Drive by constructing a four-kilometre off-road walking and cycling path, along with an east-west connection between two existing cycle routes following Drakeford Drive and Athllon Drive.

The new path will improve safety along Sulwood Drive, which is an 80k/h arterial road without walking or cycling infrastructure, and enable Kambah residents to access the Wanniassa shops as well as Mount Taylor.

The new path will improve safety along Sulwood Drive. Image: Supplied.

The joint funding will also go towards the construction of the shared path along Flemington Road between Randwick Road and Morisset Road, Mitchell to fix the gap in the walking and cycling network between the EPIC light rail stop and Mitchell.

The upgrades will include a 2.5-metre wide off-road walking and cycling path to provide access to the new light rail stop.

A cycle route between the ANU and Dickson which will include separate walking and cycling paths along McCaughey Street between Masson Street and Barry Drive, Turner will also be built as part of the promised funding.

ACT Minister for City Services Chris Steel said the announcement highlights Federal Labor’s commitment to local infrastructure in Canberra suburbs.

“The $260 million National Bike Paths Strategy is the largest ever investment in shared pathways from a Federal Government,” Mr Steel said.

“We will work with a Shorten-Labor Government to get the most out of the investment in bike paths by jointly funding key projects that better connect Canberrans.

“These specific projects have been identified by Government and the community to address missing links on Canberra’s cycle and footpath network to make it easier for Canberrans to move around our city.

“I thank the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese and his Federal Labor colleagues for working with the ACT Government on a package of projects that will keep Canberrans connected and active.”

The dedicated bikeway will connect the Belconnen Town Centre, the University of Canberra, Radford College and the Canberra Institute of Technology. Image: Supplied.

The joint funding will also assist with the ACT Government’s work on the currently unused Belconnen busway into a cycle freeway as part of its construction of a dedicated bikeway in Belconnen. The 4.7 kilometres of new bikeway will upgrade cycle paths that will connect the Belconnen Town Centre, the University of Canberra, Radford College and the Canberra Institute of Technology’s Bruce campus.

Stage two of the Heysen Street link from Lyons to Woden Town Centre will also be funded to create a new path along Devonport Street and Launceston Street between the end of the Heysen Street link and Melrose Drive, Lyons.

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Still ignoring the very busy narrow pathway between Kingston Foreshore and Kings Avenue Bridge. Its barely safe for cyclists to ride there at weekends given the amount of pedestrian traffic and people fishing with long rods. The link to the south east of the lake is very poor through Kingston Foreshore because the businesses have taken over the wide walkway fronting the lake. This really makes a ride around the lake difficult in this area.

Actually I have another point. Why does Tuggeranong infrastructure consistently need joint Federal government funding support, but the ACT Government is regularly happy to fund inner city projects themselves?

Capital Retro11:02 am 13 May 19

“Thought that 4×4 enthusiasts had finally been included in something.”

It’s planned to be next to the dragway.

That Sulwood Drive path is much needed. It was named 10th most accident prone road in Canberra.

The Mt Taylor car park has proved very popular whenever I drive past to my fathers.

Cycle path should definitely run on the eastern side avoid the terrible intersections whilst on your bike. It will also give a great cycling loop for Woden side residents.

Considering the dangers of the busy, winding and narrow Sulwood Drive, I would like the government to trial ‘no cyclists’ on this section of road. But cyclists to use the bike path. It would be worth a trial and hopefully encourage fast and dedicated cycle lanes for other major roads.

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