Long road to Belconnen bikeway begins

Lachlan Roberts 9 October 2019 90
The fist sod is turned

Tara Cheyne, Gordon Ramsay and Chris Steel turned the first sod last week. Photo: Supplied.

The long-awaited 4.7 km Belconnen path network is just around the bend, with construction of the 2016 ACT Election promise now underway.

The network comprises 1.4 km of shared path, 1.5 km of pedestrian-only paths, 2.1 km of cyclist-only paths and 440-metres of on-road cycleway.

The dedicated bikeway will connect the Belconnen Town Centre, the University of Canberra, Radford College and the CIT’s Bruce campus, starting on Coulter Drive in Florey and finishing on Haydon Drive in Bruce.

The Belconnen bikeway will become Canberra’s second separated cycleway alongside Civic. It will upgrade cycle paths in and around the town centre, linking educational institutions to the east and the former busway to the west.

Pathway map

The pathway will wind through the Belconnen town centre. Image: Supplied.

Running from Coulter Drive in Florey to Joynton Smith Drive in Belconnen, along Emu Bank to Haydon Drive via College Street, the bikeway will also turn the abandoned Belconnen busway into a cycle freeway.

The project will also see the planting of around 200 native and exotic trees and 4,000 shrubs along the route to provide shade.

ACT Minister for Roads and Active Travel Chris Steel said the bikeway is another project that proves Canberra is the cycling capital of Australia.

“We are improving facilities to encourage people to use a bike or walk to work when they can,” Mr Steel said. “We know that in parts of the existing cycle network in Belconnen that it is quite busy, so separating cyclists and walkers is important.

“This is an important project for the Belconnen town centre because it is going to support the regeneration of the centre, particularly through the use of the old busway. We are going to see places connected that weren’t before.”

Pathway map

The bikeway will run down Emu Bank alongside the Belconnen skate park before linking up with College Street. Image: Supplied.

Labor member for Ginninderra Tara Cheyne said the bikeway has been something the Belconnen community has been talking about for some time.

“The Belconnen Town Centre masterplan had so much community input and one of the things that we identified in it was making use of the old busway and making sure we have those critical pedestrian and cycling connections throughout the town centre,” Ms Cheyne said.

The Belconnen bikeway is expected to be completed late next year.

The ACT Government also expects the design work for the Benjamin Way protected cycleway and the Belconnen Arts Centre foreshore path to be finalised in the coming months, with foreshore path construction to begin early in the new year.

Pathway map

The bikeway will connect Radford College and UC to Belconnen town centre. Image: Supplied.

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90 Responses to Long road to Belconnen bikeway begins
Alexandra Hughes Alexandra Hughes 5:06 pm 10 Oct 19

When will the south side get something like a dedicated bike path along Monaro Hwy and not the current one beside the lane. I'd love to to ride to work but not going to share the road with cars doing 100km/h

astro2 astro2 3:54 pm 10 Oct 19

It’s odd how some people just don’t seem to get that there is funding for different types of infrastructure and, just because they themselves may not use that infrastructure, it doesn’t mean that all spending should cease. For instance, the usual cries of “Not everyone can cycle”; hmmm not everyone can drive either right; does that mean governments should stop funding roads? Nup. Funding on cycling infrastructure obviously promotes more people to use cycling to get around and, let’s face it, a lot more people could cycle than currently do. More people cycling means overall public health improves. To respond to Jenny Mcgregor, there are an increasing number of people queueing at public hospitals for hip and knee replacements who are overweight and don’t’ exercise enough, not because they have “bad genes”. To improve public health outcomes through more options for exercise will have future benefits and it’s good to see this government thinking ahead in their public policy choices.

Alex Mitchell Alex Mitchell 9:14 am 10 Oct 19

Alex Joshua Alex our tax payer dollars going to such a good cause... 🙄

    Alex Kerr Alex Kerr 9:33 am 10 Oct 19

    Ima walk on it just to let them know how it feels

Mark Reelaxin Mark Reelaxin 7:48 am 10 Oct 19

Wast of money They won't use it anyway, they will still ride on the road like here in perth.

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 9:11 am 10 Oct 19

    Mark Reelaxin Why comment on a place you don't live? Most of the arterial roads in Canberra have a separate on road lane. Many cyclists, especially older, and female cyclists will only ride off-road. Canberra has provided for both since the seventies and so has higher cycle use and so reduced car use and the associated high road costs of roads for cars. This if done well will link the on and off-road cycle provision.

    Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 11:07 am 10 Oct 19

    Mark Reelaxin

    Disused wide road. It will be well used, like all the bike paths here

Faraaz Skiskis Faraaz Skiskis 2:32 am 10 Oct 19

Could you spend money on anything more useless

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 7:10 am 10 Oct 19

    Faraaz Skiskis Yes Roads for cars. Cycle infrastructure is cheaper, reduces car use saving on the high cost of road provision and maintenance, and brings health, social inclusion and financial savings to those that use them. Why would you not want those benefits?

    Faraaz Skiskis Faraaz Skiskis 11:10 am 10 Oct 19

    Peter Hatfield cyclists are Minority and have no effect on the evononu of Canberra

    Faraaz Skiskis Faraaz Skiskis 11:11 am 10 Oct 19

    Social inclusion lol

    Widya Santoso Widya Santoso 12:37 pm 10 Oct 19

    Probably anything you want LOL.

Martin Miller Martin Miller 10:50 pm 09 Oct 19

Sadly it's not all a dedicated bike way. It's a mix a cycle/pedestrian only and shared paths.!

Anthony Olivera Anthony Olivera 9:53 pm 09 Oct 19

Tuggeranong has had their public transport system suffer for a glorified bike path for Belconnen? ACT Labor just seem to be digging themselves a deeper hole.

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 7:06 am 10 Oct 19

    Anthony Olivera Tuggeranong has much better cycle infrastructure than Belconnen, including in and out of the town centre. Belco has poor bike access to its Mall.

    Anthony Olivera Anthony Olivera 7:32 am 10 Oct 19

    Peter Hatfield True. But should that be a priority?

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 7:58 am 10 Oct 19

    Anthony Olivera This is about priority for cycle infrastructure spending and ours in Belco is poor. As Peter McArdle notes above there are higher priorities around Belco but the bus lane is there so this should be able to be done at low cost and it addresses what is now an eyesore.

    Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 11:09 am 10 Oct 19

    Peter Hatfield

    A big wide eyesore

    Anthony Olivera Anthony Olivera 3:05 pm 10 Oct 19

    Daniel Evans I actually didn’t

    Jeff Smith Jeff Smith 4:27 pm 10 Oct 19

    Peter Hatfield What makes you say Tuggeranong has much better cycle infrastructure than Belconnen? In my experience its the other way round with Belco having better and more dedicated km's of dedicated paths for cycling and better roadways for cycling. Too many roundabouts and skinny main roads in Tuggers for cycling. Try Sulwood Dr sometime. I do note that both of these large regions have pretty worn and crumbling bike paths.

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 9:24 pm 10 Oct 19

    Jeff Smith I lived near Sulwood Drive and you are right - it's one of the worst cycling routes in Canberra. The path round Lake Tuggers is good though and underused.

Sashika Mendis Sashika Mendis 9:39 pm 09 Oct 19

That’s great, although more bus services would have been handy!

Bri Travalos Bri Travalos 9:33 pm 09 Oct 19

I bet they still ride on the road

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 7:07 am 10 Oct 19

    Bri Travalos As they are fully entitled to do.

    Bri Travalos Bri Travalos 11:02 am 10 Oct 19

    Peter Hatfield then why spend all this money on bike paths everywhere if they don’t get used.

    Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 11:12 am 10 Oct 19

    Bri Travalos

    They do get used. This is about turning a massive disused roadway into a useful cycleway. What part of that don’t you understand?

    Bri Travalos Bri Travalos 11:16 am 10 Oct 19

    Stephen Page-Murray the ones in wanniassa don’t they ride on erindale dr even though there’s a path right next to the road

    Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 12:35 pm 10 Oct 19

    Bri Travalos

    Southerners eh...

    Bri Travalos Bri Travalos 1:26 pm 10 Oct 19

    I have no issue with bikes riding on the road when there is a bike lane and they ride single file. Riding on roads that are too narrow to have a bike lane and have a bike path right next to the road is stupid and dangerous and is the reason no one in Canberra likes cyclists

Klaus Popp Klaus Popp 9:21 pm 09 Oct 19

To all those complaining about this much-needed cycling infrastructure improvement, I say: get on your bike and try to ride it, in safety, in the Belconnen Town Centre area and then get back to me. I won’t start on the cycle/shared paths I used for many years commuting from Evatt and McKellar other than to say they appear to have received little to no maintenance since I started using them in the late 1970’s. You need a dual suspension MTB to cope with the bumps and cracks!

    Peter McArdle Peter McArdle 10:38 pm 09 Oct 19

    Klaus Popp

    I agree with you.

    Maintenance of infrastructure does not lead to a photo shoot and so is not a high priority.

    And another thing: why convert the old busway into a bike path from Coulter Drive where it meets a busy road at a T junction. There are numerous minor improvements to the current paths that would be more cost-effective than converting the busway into a bike path.

    There is already a bike path under Coulter Dr and around to Belconnen.

    Of course, that bike path is badly maintained but it is already there.

    It links around the Lake to the Arts Centre.

    By all means extend bike paths but maintain existing infrastructure first.

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 6:36 am 10 Oct 19

    Peter McArdle I don't agree on that one. When it was not blocked off I regularly used the old bus way - it is faster for commuting than the pleasant but meandering lake path and can take you straight into the Mall and so close to the bus station. It just needs cleaning up and a few short connections into the mall and other paths that are currently cut off. It should be a relatively cheap excersise to gain kms of path.

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 7:29 am 10 Oct 19

    ... mind you having said all that, the ACT Government will probably turn a cheap spend into a major outlay, which might make your point valid.

Keran Niquet Keran Niquet 9:16 pm 09 Oct 19

Anything to appease the Lycra brigade! They defy all rules!

    Martin Miller Martin Miller 10:52 pm 09 Oct 19

    Keran Niquet cycling is not for the Lycra brigade but for everyone.! Ever ridden a bike lately?

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 6:56 am 10 Oct 19

    Motorists always obey rules? The difference is motorists who speeds, drink drive and break other rules kill and maim cyclists pedestrians and each other. This is about protecting cyclists from the road user that is doing the harm: the driver.

    Keran Niquet Keran Niquet 6:21 pm 10 Oct 19

    Ian McLeod .I repeat. I have yet to see ANY cyclist in Canberra follow the road rules. I have lived here since 1979.

Robert Knight Robert Knight 8:19 pm 09 Oct 19

Amazing! Well done Tara Cheyne

Peter Major Peter Major 8:18 pm 09 Oct 19

And cyclists will still ride on the road and impede traffic with impunity

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 7:01 am 10 Oct 19

    Traffic congestion is largely caused by other cars. Cycle commuting reduces car congestion. Some cyclists prefer the faster on road trip and on most arterial roads there is a wide edge. This will give a safer faster alternative into the mall which is difficult without riding on the street.

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 8:22 am 10 Oct 19

    Ian McLeod This happened years ago and was posted at the time. Do you want me to post some photos of the most recent crashes where motorists have killed people? There was one a couple of days ago near where I live. Time to move on from petty issues years old that have nothing to do with this post.

Ricky Toms Ricky Toms 7:26 pm 09 Oct 19

Yay millions spent so they can still ride on the road!😡

    Garrin Ross Garrin Ross 7:59 pm 09 Oct 19

    You obviously don't understand cycleways. Bicycles are legal road vehicles with EXACTLY the same rights to be used on roads as motor vehicles. Acquaint yourself with road rule 15(b):


    Ricky Toms Ricky Toms 8:11 pm 09 Oct 19

    Garrin Ross I know the rules... doesn’t mean I have to agree with them

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 8:19 pm 09 Oct 19

    Garrin Ross Ricky has made a valid point. If the bike paths were used they would be worthwhile. They are underused, so why build them?

    Garrin Ross Garrin Ross 9:13 pm 09 Oct 19

    Ricky Toms so what other road rules don't you agree with? Or are you just a bigoted cyclist hater?

    Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 9:13 pm 09 Oct 19

    Ricky Toms

    Disused road and bikes only. Wasn’t that clear?

    Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 9:14 pm 09 Oct 19

    Margaret Freemantle

    Sure aren’t ‘underused’ in our area

    Garrin Ross Garrin Ross 9:48 pm 09 Oct 19

    Ian McLeod if those cyclists are riding within the Cycling Road Rules then how can you complain?

    That means riding two abreast no more than 1.5 metres apart, or three abreast while overtaking.

    Most motorists are normal sane people with a modest understanding of legal road users.

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 6:52 am 10 Oct 19

    His comment is nonsense. Some people ride on roads because they are faster and because the paths are in poor condition,require users to give way crossing streets, and have poor separation from pedestrians, and pets. Others do not like riding with traffic. Cycle infrastructure is cheap, more than pays for itself in savings on road use and health benefits. This is a low cost way to get cyclists into and through Belco safely.

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 9:28 am 10 Oct 19

    Ian McLeod Again you are going over the same diatribe about an incident you posted years ago and it's not relevant to this post. Move on.

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 9:36 am 10 Oct 19

    Ricky Toms It is not a rule at all. Cycles are and always have been vehicles : they were using the roads before cars and lobbying by cyclists made the modern road system possible. Cyclists pay for the roads they use through rates and most adult cyclists pay rego - I pay for two cars for my own use. Unless specifically prohibited cycles are as entitled to use them as any other vehicle.

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 9:53 am 10 Oct 19

    Ian McLeod But all motorists who drive on them take up the roads that were originally built for cycles after lobbying by cyclists, paid for by their rates. Only a small number of motorists though kill and maim other people but that is why we build separate infrastructure for those who do not want to risk sharing the roads with some motorists.

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 10:03 am 10 Oct 19

    Margaret Freemantle What data do you have that shows cycle paths are underused. I ride have been riding around Belconnen for 30 years and am not aware of any such path.

Jenny McGregor Jenny McGregor 6:23 pm 09 Oct 19

No buses for pensioners on the south side of town,but somehow there is money for a bike path.Thought the lightrail was supposed to fix all the norths traffic issues.The Southside turning liberal !!

    Andrew Dudley Andrew Dudley 9:09 pm 09 Oct 19

    Jenny McGregor all the mla’s in that picture are Northside representatives, if people in your area want better bike paths you need to tell your local reps to make things start happening.

    Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 9:13 pm 09 Oct 19

    Jenny McGregor

    It’s using a disused road.

    Kate Field Kate Field 5:46 am 10 Oct 19

    Chris Steele is shown in the image and he ‘s a southside Southside MLA. However , like all Labor MLAs, hes only interested in infrastructure in Canberra’s north. Roll on the election!

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 6:45 am 10 Oct 19

    I am a pensioners who rides a bike with friends, many of whom are pensioners Cycle infrastructure is much cheaper than other roads and provides a safe environment for our transport and recreational needs.

    Jenny McGregor Jenny McGregor 8:54 am 10 Oct 19

    Peter Hatfield doesnt help those with hip or knee issues.But unless you can ride a bike your voice isnt heard.

    Jenny McGregor Jenny McGregor 8:56 am 10 Oct 19

    Andrew Dudley not listening to what im saying.The elderly need transport to get them out to appointments, shopping and give them autonomy. Why can't people see that this is hamtying the elderly!

    Jenny McGregor Jenny McGregor 8:58 am 10 Oct 19

    Andrew Dudley still not listening!

    Jenny McGregor Jenny McGregor 9:02 am 10 Oct 19

    Peter Hatfield lucky you still have your mobility.I am a nurse who is seeing the results of these restrictive measures.At least 2 fractured hips in elderly trying to walk further to bus stops,exhausted and tripping!They then have months in hospital ,rehab etc.Why are we not looking at the big picture??

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 9:25 am 10 Oct 19

    Jenny McGregor This is not paid for from the public transport vote.. This is low cost infrastructure that can and is be used by people from eight to 88. Cycle, mobility device and pedestrian infrastructure done well reduces traffic and so outlays on roads. Some people put effort into maintaining their health and we should not be hamstrung doing so because some others are not able or believe they are not able to use cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

    Jenny McGregor Jenny McGregor 10:11 am 10 Oct 19

    Peter Hatfield good on your forbears for having some great genes.What about those that are not so fortunate, are are they supposed to just rot in a hospital somewhere out of the Beautiful people's sight!

    Widya Santoso Widya Santoso 12:36 pm 10 Oct 19

    You haven't given us any good reason to listen to your bleating.

    Jenny McGregor Jenny McGregor 2:41 pm 10 Oct 19

    Widya Santoso our elderly care is bleating??As long as you are ok ,someone else can look after the interests and care of our not so capable people

    Jenny McGregor Jenny McGregor 2:42 pm 10 Oct 19

    Stephen Page-Murray your missing the point I'm making

    Jenny McGregor Jenny McGregor 2:43 pm 10 Oct 19

    Andrew Dudley not on about bike paths.But they do seem to take pecidence over other more pressing issues don't they!!

    Jenny McGregor Jenny McGregor 2:45 pm 10 Oct 19

    Andrew Dudley Don't want more ,most go unused as the bikes are on the road.Our elderly can't get out their front doors and are trapped by not having services

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 9:09 pm 10 Oct 19

    Jenny McGregor What nonsense. Every budget has provision for health, transport and recreational spending. Spending on preventative infrastructure delivers greater health benefits than spending on treatment. Spending on cycle infrastructure reduces car use and associated high road costs. That I enjoy good health is in part because I cycle most local trips and recreationaly every week. That's reduced costs for your hospitals and roads freeing up funds for public transport. Far from taking precedence, spending on cycle infrastructure is a fraction of that on roads for cars and less than other OECD countries. It is quite unfair to blame underspending on other areas on spending that saves money, and improves health and the environment (I am being polite - Greta would have opened with "...how dare you".

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 7:21 am 11 Oct 19

    Jenny McGregor... also what evidence do you have that supports your comment "most go unused as the bikes are on the road ". That's like suggesting the streets are empty because there are cars on Gininderra Dive. Some cyclists use the road as they are entitled to do. Some only will ride on paths,especially families, females and older riders. Your care for older people is admirable but that is not a reason to underspend on needed cycling infrastructure.

Elspeth Shannon Rollason Elspeth Shannon Rollason 5:28 pm 09 Oct 19

Better connection to Belco markets would be good. The only decent access is via Belconnen Way

Elspeth Shannon Rollason Elspeth Shannon Rollason 5:27 pm 09 Oct 19

Make sure there are better connections from the surrounding suburbs otherwise it defeats the purpose. It would be nice to cycle to Belco mall and lock bike up at a bike rack but access via the undercover car parks is dangerous

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 10:08 am 10 Oct 19

    Correct. It needs a safe marked way form the end of the old busway to the bike park area. The linkages between Coulter Drive bike lanes and nearby paths and quiet streets are poor - better links would make the busway section much more useful.

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason Elspeth Shannon Rollason 10:12 am 10 Oct 19

    Peter Hatfield try getting to nettlefold and oatley crt area from Florey on a bike. Disaster unless you go over through Page. There does seem to be some possible path construction happening on Coulter dve though. Fingers crossed

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 10:22 am 10 Oct 19

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason The ACT websites shows more of what is planned, including a path from John Cleland. It also needs a link form the bike path that runs under Coulter near there to the south bound bike lane on Coulter Drive.

    Links are also needed between the Coulter's Rd bike lanes and the underpass under Coulter Drive that leads into the Nettlefiold Oatley precinct.


    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 10:23 am 10 Oct 19

    Pedal Power has a Belconnen working group that can take up these issues. I used to be on it but now I live more in Ballina than I do in Belconnen.

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason Elspeth Shannon Rollason 10:35 am 10 Oct 19

    Peter Hatfield on road cycling on Emu Bank? That road is so busy, parked cars, many driveways. Perfectly good bike path already exists around the lake. Should just link to that and maintain it. No way would I ride on Emu bank road

    Peter Hatfield Peter Hatfield 9:30 pm 10 Oct 19

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason I wouldn't say the Lake path it was perfectly good. But with properly engineered separate bike and cycle paths it might have been be a better alternative to Emu Bank which crosses the entrance to very busy car parks.

Anne Marie Anne Marie 5:12 pm 09 Oct 19

yay - I hope it also improves links for those coming from the southside of town.

    Karl Hock Karl Hock 6:16 pm 09 Oct 19

    Anne Marie it won't. It uses it the old bus line form the mall

    Anne Marie Anne Marie 6:18 pm 09 Oct 19

    Karl Hock Thanks -I suspected as much. Getting to UC from the Southside is a bit tricky, but not impossible...maybe one day.

    Karl Hock Karl Hock 9:13 pm 09 Oct 19

    Bus To Beco then ride to UC?

    Anne Marie Anne Marie 9:21 pm 09 Oct 19

    Karl Hock I ride from Weston, but have to cycle on a very horrid footpath along Bindubi St to avoid cycling on the road (perhaps there's a better way to go?)

    Sally Greenaway Sally Greenaway 9:12 am 10 Oct 19

    Anne I agree that stretch around cook/Aranda is hairy and if you go via the footpath it's slow. I think the idea is that you stay on the bike path past the horse paddocks through into cook eventually heading towards the Jamison pool direction. Then you have to cross Belconnen Way and divert back through Bruce (still on bike paths) to UC and Radford. Not very direct but at least all bike path.

    Anne Marie Anne Marie 10:16 am 10 Oct 19

    Sally Greenaway Thanks, I will try this.

Jessica Lauren Jessica Lauren 5:07 pm 09 Oct 19


What’s the bet it’s finished just when we move out of Bruce 😉

David Riddel David Riddel 4:55 pm 09 Oct 19

2.4kms of dedicated cycleway 👍. 🚴🏻‍♂️💨

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