PEDAL POWER: Have your say on multi-million dollar cycleway plan

Novocastrian opinions are being sought on the concept designs for the City of Newcastle’s Merewether Beach to The Junction Cycleway.

The project was recently given a boost to the tune of $3.1million under Council’s COVID-19 recovery package which will allow for construction of a 1.10kilometre section, stretching from Merewether Beach to Glebe Road, to be completed.

Plans for the cycleway also include a 2.5m-wide bi-directional shared path along Watkins Street and Coane Street, between Watkins Street and John Parade, with new and upcraded crossings for both pedestrians abd cyclists.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said she hoped Council’s plan to bolster cycling infrastructure would sustain the anecdotal uptake of cycling, among Novocastrians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are committed to promoting cycling as a genuine transport option for residents, families, commuters and recreational users, which is why expansion and improvement of the cycleway network is one of the City’s priority projects,” Cr Nelmes added.

“The cycleway will create an important connection with one of the city’s favourite coastal destinations and encourage more people to make the switch to pedal power.”

Plans include a 2.5m-wide, bi-directional shared path along Watkins Street and Coane Street, between Watkins and John Parade, with new and upgraded crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.    

Almost $5 million has been allocated to cycleways projects under the revised 2020-21 capital works budget, including $3.1 million for the Merewether to The Junction  cycleway, as well as funding for a missing cycleway link on University Drive between Blue Gum Road and the inner-city bypass in Birmingham Gardens.

Councillor John Mackenzie, himself a cycling enthusiast, welcomed the funding.

“This initial stage is an important step towards the completion of the overall City Centre to Merewether Beach cycleway project, which will provide a first-class route between the inner city and one of our most popular beaches,” he said.

“In recent months, as a result of COVID-19, we have seen increasing numbers of residents making use of our city’s cycleways for both transportation and recreational purposes.”

Concept designs for the Merewether Beach to The Junction Cycleway are on public exhibition until Monday 27 July. Head here for more information.

Written by Newcastle Live

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