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Byron Shire
February 2, 2023

Warning: Northern Rivers Rail Trail not ready yet

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Workers constructing the slab to mark the old station at Dunbible. Work is continuing along the Tweed leg of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, which is expected to be open to the public early next year. Photo supplied.

Love it or hate it, the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is under construction and the community is being urged to wait until it is safe for public use before trying it out.

The warning comes after reports of people using the trail in recent weeks, despite it not yet being open for public use.

Construction crews are still hard at work along many sections of the 24 km trail and works are scheduled to continue into early 2023.

Project Director Iain Lonsdale explained that construction materials may cause risks to members of the public who access the trail prior to its opening early next year.

Construction materials and heavy machinery are still in use on many parts of the trail and signage has not yet been installed.

People eager to use the trail

‘It is great to see people so eager to use the trail. Many have waited a long time to see this project come to fruition and it is not long now until we will all have access to an incredible resource for locals and visitors to enjoy.

‘But public safety is our first priority. Construction crews are still working across the length of the trail and there are a range of safety hazards that pose a risk to trail users trying to get a sneak peek ahead of the opening.

‘We ask the community to please be patient. We know with the holiday season nearly upon us, people are keen to check out the trail. We want to make sure everyone has a safe and positive experience, so we urge everyone to hold off until the trail opens early next year.’

Work is expected to be completed on the trail early next year, weather permitting, with a host of community activities in the planning to mark its official opening.

To stay updated and be alerted to when the opening date is scheduled, visit: northernriversrailtrail.com.au and follow Northern Rivers Rail Trail on social media.

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  1. “Love it or hate it”? The consultations and discussions around the rail trail show overwhelmingly people in the Northern Rivers support a community path along the disused rail corridor. It was for example a high priority in Lismore’s public consultations on recreational grant infrastructure, and allocated a Priority A in the Byron Shire Bike Plan. The Nationals, Labor and Greens all support the rail trail concept and the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation (NRJO) recently applied for a grant to examine the benifits of completing the rail trail with the support of every Mayor.
    The controversy has not been around if but how it should be built,
    That’s why the NRJO grant applications includes consideration of the issues and additional costs of building the rail trail beside the formation, as will the current investigationss by Byron Council of the benifits of building the rail trail North of Mullumbimby.
    As the article shows the path is attracting strong community interest and hopefully we will be able to find a way forward to complete it and the suggested links to Brunswick Heads and Ballina also proposed.


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