15.7 C
Byron Shire
October 1, 2022

Ballina joining rail trail network?

Latest News

On Save the Koala Day conservationists all agree they disagree with the Minister for Environment

Ahead of today’s Save the Koala Day, NSW Minister for Environment James Griffin yesterday announced that private landholders are being supported to restore 200 hectares of koala habitat in the Northern Rivers.

Other News

CSIRO tracking NASA’s asteroid collision test today

The world’s first full-scale planetary defence test is happening today. NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is designed to strike an asteroid and adjust its course.

Class action against Optus being considered

With an increasing number of Australians discovering they have been caught up in the Optus data breach, law firm Slater and Gordon is investigating a possible class action against the telecommunications company on behalf of current and former customers.

Mullum biz petition for road improvements

A petition from Mullumbimby industrial estate business owners will be tabled at the upcoming September 29 meeting, which calls on Council to upgrade pothole ridden Manns Road.

A Forest of excellence

Forest Byron Bay, a restaurant by Crystalbrook Collection, has won the Regional Contemporary Australian Restaurant – Formal category at...

Something for everyone at Byron Theatre in October

Get your pulse pumping at the 2022 Radical Reels Tour on Friday 7 October at 7pm, presented by Adventure...

National Circus Festival: 30 September–2 October

It’s finally here and everyone is beyond excited. This weekend the National Circus Festival makes its way to the...

More bikes heading to Ballina?

Ballina councillors are considering the potential of linking up with the forthcoming rail trail network with new bicycle routes, but not using the old rail route which closed in 1943.

Speaking for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, Pat Grier AM told councillors at their last meeting that work was under way with $35m in the can, and a strong business case that rail trails brought ‘quality tourism’ wherever they were built, with $2.70 anticipated to be returned for every dollar spent on construction.

Mr Grier said he had recently made a presention to Ballina GM Paul Hickey outlining the ‘fantastic’ benefits of connecting Ballina’s existing cycle path network with the rail trail at Bangalow, initially using quiet existing roads, such as the now bypassed section of the Pacific Highway, potentially creating a separate circuit which could be marketed in Australia and internationally.

Cr Sharon Cadwallader said the rail trail represented a great job creation opportunity for Ballina Shire. ‘For a long time now, I’ve watched this funding roll out around our neighbours and thinking, why aren’t we part of this?’

Ballina Shire Councillor Sharon Cadwallader. Photo David Lowe.

She described the rail trail connection idea as an opportunity Ballina could not afford to miss.

Sooner rather than later

Cr Keith Williams also spoke in support of the idea. ‘This is this is actually a really important thing to make sure we start now,’ he said.

‘Don’t wait until the rail trail’s built, and then say all we want to connect – we need to be planning this stuff now to make sure that as the rail trail is rolled out, and gets closer to us, that we’re not forgotten.’

Cr Eoin Johnston said that although connecting to the rail trail would be expensive, and require grants, he had seen how rail trails had changed rural communities for the better in New Zealand and Victoria.

Other speakers discussed potentially connecting the cycle path networks of Lennox Head/Ballina and Byron Bay, despite such discussions between the neighbouring councils fizzling out in the past over disagreements about the route. Cr Ben Smith suggested it was actually state government policy to eventually have cycle path networks connecting up along the coast, but the will and funding had not yet eventuated.

Cr Cadwallader suggested it was a matter of forward planning, as with roads. She said that cycling was a dominant part of the culture of Europe, and something Australia could emulate. ‘I believe this is the future… [Cycling] sits within a healthy community. It’s part of our vision for our shire, our vision statement.

‘I just think this will be fantastic. We’ve got to start the planning in order to be able to get some grant money happening. But yes, I think it’s a great opportunity that we shouldn’t miss.’

Ballina councillors voted unanimously to receive a report on options and costs to link to the rail trail, and also agreed to re-commence discussions with Byron Shire Council about building a bikeway between Lennox Head and Byron Bay.


More stories about Ballina Shire Council:

Consideration of state significant farmland for SUGA development leaves bitter taste

One of Ballina Shire Council’s independents is continuing to argue against suggested expansions of development between the plateau villages of Alstonville and Wollongbar.

3

NSW gov’t accused of ‘pork barrelling’ in Ballina electorate

As people on the Northern Rivers last week endured the anxiety of severe storm warnings and pre-dawn emergency alerts, a visit from the state’s emergency services minister was barely announced.

3

Biodiversity concerns ‘noted’ in favour of new Lennox Head RFS and...

Ballina shire councillors voted unanimously at a meeting last week to support a consultancy’s findings regarding suitability of land on Lennox Head for a new RFS station and preschool.

0

Drop-in info sessions tomorrow re Ballina temporary housing

Anyone with questions about the second state government temporary housing village for flood and landslide survivors in the Ballina Shire can attend a drop-in information session on Wednesday.

0

Not-so-easy living in Cumbalum: ‘not even a corner store’

Independent Ballina Shire Councillor Jeff Johnson says Cumbalum residents have been neglected.

1


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

5 COMMENTS

  1. “Ballina councillors are considering the potential of linking up with the forthcoming rail trail network with new bicycle routes”
    I wonder how long this will take to implement after the “Ballina Coastal Cycleway” was over 10 years in the making.
    Then again…
    What about considering a cycleway from Alstonville down to connect with the West Ballina cycleway?

    • You are right mixed used paths connecting to the rail trail is a long term dream. The concept we have discussed with Ballina Council is to signpost the quiet but generally wide former Pacific Highway – the Hinterland Way for example, or the old Highway alignment to Wardell over Burns Point ferry, – and improve its safety with better lane marking or some paths, as opportunities like resealing or funding grants become available. The old highway is already popular with local cyclists happy to ride on quiet roads ; the hope is to popularise it with visitors and to attract a wider range of cyclists with strategic improvements to make a safer cycling environment.
      I’ve been looking at extending the concept from West Ballina to Alstonville. Perhaps a mixed use path to connect to the old Bruxner Highway alignment might be a possible link .

  2. eBikes too, are going to be a major force, driving ( or is it riding? ) the attraction of linking many adjoining routes to the spine arterial of the Rail Trail.
    Our upcoming council elections in December are a prime opportunity for us voters to accelerate progress towards ousting Byron Shire’s out-dated and stagnant dream of yesteryear, thwarting the amazing advantages of utilising its section of the derelict corridor into a world class modern Rail Trail for a huge cross-section of our community to enjoy exploring our gorgeous region.

  3. Just a minute there, what happened to our “shared” path ! Now it’s “Ballina Coastal Cycleway”.

    For nearly thirty years I was part of a small group who fought to have the shared Coastal Recreation Path become a reality. The original approved path was three metres wide, allowing for reasonably safe usage by pedestrians and bicycles. In fact, the path was drastically reduced in width. I, as one of many, am unable to use the coastal recreation path, or indeed any of the other recreational paths, at all due to the proliferation of cyclists who ride at great speed, who fail to use a bell (if they actually have one) and expect pedestrians to give them free passage without even slowing down. The noble concept of a shared path has been trashed. If linked to the rail trail system it will, in fact, become the Ballina coastal cycleway.

    It is obvious that the connection to the rail trail system has great appeal but the existing shared pathways in Ballina are already inadequate and if the concept is to be advanced, in the interests of public safety, all bicycles need be confined to their own dedicated path. I, for one, would love to be able to use the coastal recreation path again.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Firearm and drug offence charges laid after Coraki vehicle stop

NSW Police say a man has been charged after a firearm and prohibited drugs were seized during a vehicle stop yesterday.

Chemicals left by first stars in the universe may have been detected by the Gemini North telescope

The chemical remains of the earliest stars in the universe may have been discovered by astronomers.

New digs for flood adaptation project

Mullum Cares has a new home in the Railway Shed Yard, on the corner of Prince and Ann Streets in Mullum.

Police suspect dies at Clothiers Creek

NSW Police say a critical incident investigation has commenced following the death of a man at Clothiers Creek yesterday.