Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore rail trail

Linking central Victoria via the old railway line

Category Archives: State Government

Councillor reflects on “Rail Trail Tourism”

Greater City of Bendigo Councillor Yvonne Wrigglesworth’s published blog on 20th October 2018 has made reference to attending the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail AGM and the benefits to be gained from rail trail tourism.

Link to blog –

A year in review and still more to come!

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Cr Wrigglesworth also made reference to the Victorian National Party Deputy Leader Steph Ryan’s announcement to fund the Murchison to Rushworth (Heathcote) Rail Trail, if elected to government in November 2018.

Perhaps there will be a similar announcement made for the proposed Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail, by candidates running for the same Victorian State Government elections!

Trail Network Needs Your Vote!

A local community bid has made the final list of the 2018 ‘Pick My Project’, which this bid now needs local resident’s support. The Junortoun Community Action Group (JCAG) is delighted to advise that their bid for funding of a cycling and walking path, to complete a ‘missing link’ in Junortoun, has made it to the final ‘Pick My Project’ projects list. Pick My Project is a community grants initiative, supported by the Victorian State Government.

This project is proposing to have built a short section of new off-road path/trail, adjacent to Trotting Tce in Junortoun. Local residents now have a chance to support this proposed project, to enable it to succeed.

Reasons to support this project:

  • It is for a cycling and walking related project near the O’Keefe Rail Trail in Junortoun.
  • It completes a missing link, connecting the O’Keefe Rail Trail (via La Valla Court) to the ‘Trotting Tce – Cousins St path’ through the forest to Cousins Street Strathdale.
  • It completes a missing link, connecting the O’Keefe Rail Trail (via La Valla Court) to the new off-road ‘Strathfieldsaye – Junortoun path’ via the McIvor Forest Estate.
  • It will support people within the Junortoun, Strathfieldsaye, Strathdale (and other adjacent Bendigo suburbs) areas to safely and easily access the O’Keefe Rail Trail at Junortoun.
  • It will support young people riding to and from schools in the Junortoun and Strathfieldsaye areas
  • It will provide an easier and safer options for cycling and walking commuters, with off-road transport routes to various destinations.
  • It will help to complete another section of Bendigo’s off-road path/trail network.

To support this worthy project, you need to vote now! Voting is open and closes 5pm Monday 17 September 2018.

Go to Pick My Project web page and type Junortoun into “Browse projects Near You’ field. Suggest selecting the “Cycling and walking path in Junortoun” project into your short list for support (you will need to vote on three projects when submitting your vote). You’ll then be asked to register (with your normal or temporary address to be included). As a regional project, voters must reside within 50kms of the project’s location.

Looking for other related projects to vote on? Perhaps note ‘Bike Love Bike Bendigo’ as well as many other local projects.

Please VOTE now, your country (trails) needs YOU!!your-country-needs-you-1914 imageFurther information regarding the voting progress can be found on the Pick My Project FAQ’s page.

Have your say on rail trail public bus service

Public Transport Victoria is seeking feedback on changes to the Bendigo – Heathcote bus service. Such not only services the communities of Heathcote, Knowsley, Axedale, Longlea and Junontoun, it also provides transport options for O’Keefe Rail Trail walkers and cyclists.

PTV is proposing five return trips between Heathcote and Bendigo on weekdays and three new return trips on Saturdays, plus is also considering two route options to and from Bendigo.

Reference: https://getinvolved.transport.vic.gov.au/33930/documents/73671

The proposed Saturday buses would be especially handy for O’Keefe Rail Trail walkers and cyclists getting to and from Axedale or Heathcote or Bendigo.

The public is encouraged to provide positive feedback, and maybe asking PTV to consider putting a bike rack on this service’s bus.

Please provide your feedback no later than Sunday 29 April 2018 by:

– visiting getinvolved.transport.vic.gov.au/heathcote-junortoun to take the PTV online survey

– calling 1800 800 007 and ask to provide feedback on Heathcote – Junortoun to Bendigo bus services

– dropping into an information session (ref the downable pdf doc above).

Don’t wait until the 29 April…..get involved right now!!

 

Proposed rail trail one step closer

The proposed 78km Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail is one step closer, to being linked with the 49km O’Keefe Rail Trail and the Melbourne urban trail network, as reported by the Bendigo Advertiser (26 March 2018 on-line edition).

While nearly 80 per cent of people consulted for the feasibility study were in favour of the rail trail being implemented, of the 37 private landowners of the former railway reserve (or linked to this reserve) interviewed, 27 objected to the trail.

Such objections, as recorded by the independent feasibility study consultants, were largely related to access to those landowner’s properties i.e. of the actual former railway reserve, rather than the concept of creating the rail trail itself. Other individuals in the Pyalong area have indicated their personal concern about the Mitchell Shire being responsible for future maintenance costs associated with the proposed trail.

The Mitchell Shire has indicated that a Trail Working Group will be established, providing the opportunity to take into consideration the concerns of individual landowners and residents, as well as seeking input from government bodies e.g. DELWP and individuals with rail trail expertise.

 

Visionary Rail Trail Proposal

The Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail is seen as being visionary for the Mitchell Shire Council’s community, business economy and tourism, according to Mayor Rhonda Sanderson. The Shire Councillors voted seven to one to proceed with the trail feasibility study’s final report at its 19 March meeting.

Council agreed it will work with the community, landowners, trail users, and related experts by forming a Trail Working Group, to investigate concerns raised by some landowners of the former railway reserve.

The Council will also investigate external funding opportunities for implementing the trail in stages, as per the study’s recommendations, plus securing access to land and/or preservation of the route on which the trail may be located.

The actual trail route proposed for certain sections, which are privately owned, will depend upon whether private landowners and Council agree on access arrangements, or land sales/ leases, or alternative route options. Such arrangements are usually required for many other successful trail developments in Victoria, interstate, and other countries e.g. New Zealand, USA.

Related article: Bendigo Weekly, 23 March edition p. 11.  2018-03-23_Bendigo Weekly

 

Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail Feasibility Study Closing!

The Wallan to Heathcote feasibility study’s community feedback stage is drawing to a close. The final date for feedback is 5pm Monday 10th April, therefore members of the various communities that are likely to benefit from such a trail, or individuals who would like to raise any points of view,  plus general trail users, are all encouraged to complete the feedback form.

This feedback can easily be completed on the Engaging Mitchell web page’s ‘Complete form‘ link.

'Pink Cliffs' cutting, Pyalong. Photo: G Long

‘Pink Cliffs’ cutting, Pyalong. Photo: G Long

Further information can also be obtained from http://wp.me/ptMbe-2kM

Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail Study seeks public feedback

A proposed Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail has the Victorian State Government, Mitchell Shire, and City of Greater Bendigo co-funding a study to assess the feasibility of a new 65km rail trail, from Wallan to Heathcote for recreational walkers, cyclists, and possibly horse riders.

Such a trail may connect, via a safe off-road trail, the communities of Wallan, Heathcote Junction, Wandong, Kilmore, Pyalong, Tooborac, and Heathcote. Linking with the O’Keefe Rail Trail, such connection may also link with the communities of Knowsley, Axedale, Junortoun and Bendigo.

The study is at the community and landowner consultations phase, with a series of Listening Posts being conducted. The Engaging Mitchell web site has details of these Listening Posts’ dates and more information.

The Heathcote Bush Market's Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail Listening Post. 4 March 2017. Photo: G.Long

The Heathcote Bush Market’s Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail Listening Post. 4 March 2017. Photo: G.Long

Feedback by the public on the proposal is also being encouraged, either by completing the feedback form at the Listening Posts, sending a completed form via Aust Post, or an on-line survey using the Engaging Mitchell web page’s feedback link. Such feedback will be received until by 5pm on Monday 10 April 2017.

Seeking your feedback for the Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail Study

The Mitchell Shire, City of Greater Bendigo and the Victorian State Government have enable a current study to assess the feasibility of a new rail trail from Wallan to Heathcote, for commuting, recreational walkers, cyclists, and possibly horse riders.

Spiral bike rack - High St Heathcote 11 June 2016. Photo Lyn Furneaux

Cycle tourism – High St Heathcote 11 June 2016. Photo L. Furneaux

The focus for a trail route is a former railway alignment, between Wallan and Heathcote, the connection with O’Keefe Rail Trail (Heathcote – Bendigo), and options to connect this to the Great Victorian Rail Trail as well as the Melbourne metro trail network.

The former railway bridge, Mollison Creek, Pyalong. Photo: Garry Long

The former railway bridge, Mollison Creek, Pyalong. Photo: G. Long

Members of the public are invited to have their say on the trail proposal, the possible route, and to share their related thoughts. up until Monday 20 March 2017.

To provide your feedback, please click this ‘Engaging Mitchell’ link, and complete the general survey or provide an online submission.

Bus Your Bike Trial!

Do you have a need to use Public Transport Victoria (PTV) services, with your bike? Perhaps you have tried to place your bike on a V/Line train, only to find that there was insufficient space for your bike as you couldn’t pre book a place for your bike? You would like use a PTV bus service, together with your bike, yet there is no bike space and regulations prevent a bus in Victoria from having an attached external bike carrying rack!

Currently there is a PTV trial project for a bike rack attached to public transport buses on four bus routes in Victoria. One such trail started in April 2016 on bus Route 70: Bendigo Station to Strathfieldsaye, for a 12 month period.

PTV Bus Your Bike Trail, April 2016-2017

PTV Bus Your Bike Trail, April 2016-2017

Members of the public have the opportunity to test the usability of such trial buses until April 2017, with the attached front bike rack. Have you? If the trial is determined by PTV as successful, this bike rack arrangement could be extended across the whole PTV network and other private buses. Should such occur, the O’Keefe Rail Trail’s users would have the means of getting to or from a distant trail point (Bendigo, Axedale, or Heathcote) using public transport. Bike racks on buses would therefore solve a current transport need, for certain cycle users of many Victorian trails.

PTV Bus Your Bike Trail 2016 - Route 70 (Strathfieldsaye-Bendigo)

PTV Bus Your Bike Trail 2016 – Route 70 (Strathfieldsaye-Bendigo)

PTV wants your feedback on this 12-month trial. To get involved and have your say, visit Bus Your Bike or call 1800 800 007.

Councillor Supports Napier St Underpass

Planning for upgrading the busy arterial Napier Street Bendigo is currently being undertaken by VicRoads. Many within the local community are seeking an underpass to be incorporated into the design, to provide a safe crossing for cycle commutors, pedestrains, and recreational users of the O’Keefe Rail Trail.

Recently elected City of Greater Bendigo Councillor Yvonne Wigglesworth has recognised and supports the need to construct an underpass at this busy arterial road crossing. With no plans for incorporating traffic light controlled crossing in the road’s upgrade project, pedestrians and cyclists will be left with attempting to ‘duel’ with road vehicles when crossing this road.

The building of an underpass with the Napier St upgrade project, while the road is being ripped up and electricity distribution assets placed underground, would lessen the overall cost and reduce future inconvenience to road users.

Traffic on Napier St near the O'Keefe Rail Trail crossing, White Hills. Photo: Garry Long

Traffic on Napier St, at the present O’Keefe Rail Trail crossing. Photo: Garry Long

With increasing use of off-road paths and trails occuring by active transport commuters, plus recreational individuals and families users, the O’Keefe Rail Trail is one of the preferred local routes. For those walking or cycling to and from the city, attending school, commuting to work, or recreational groups riding to/from Axedale and Heathcote, a safe crossing of Napier St will be critical to encouraging more people to use alternatives to their motor vehicles and also increasing outdoor tourism visitations.

Link to WIN TV News story