Bicycle Network: Metro Routes
West: Federation Trail
The campaign focus is now on the section east from Millers Road to the Yarra in Spotswood.
Napthine builds bridge to riders
28 March 2013. In a welcome move the Napthine Government has chosen the best solution for the next instalment of the Federation Trail—a bridge across the Newport-Albion freight line in Yarraville.
This had originally been the VicRoads intended option, however, a shortfall in funding and technical obstacles stalled the process.
In a welcome move Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder has announced an increase on the carried over $4.7million in funding, up to $5.3million, to get the job done. The press release is available here.
The first stage of the trail was from Werribee River to Millers Road in Brooklyn. This also included the section of shared path from Millers Road to 250 metres west of the Newport- Albion rail reserve, on the north side of the West Gate Bridge.
"We are announcing the next stage from Millers Road with a bridge over the Tottenham rail line and industrial land 250 metres west of the rail reserve that will lead into Fogarty Avenue, Yarraville," Mr Mulder said.
"This will be followed by a further two stages to complete the path: stage three will be Fogarty Avenue to Williamstown Road and then stage four from Williamstown Road to Hyde Street."
Member for Western Metropolitan Region Andrew Elsbury said the announcement was evidence of yet more investment in the western suburbs by the Coalition Government.
“Cycling numbers in Melbourne are growing and the extension of the Federation Trail will make cycling more accessible to residents in the Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Laverton and Brooklyn areas,” Mr Elsbury said.
Whilst alternative alignments were investigated, including a new bike-only level crossing, these also raised concerns from various stakeholders. Common sense has prevailed and the ultimate alignment has been adhered to (refer red line, on map below).
View Federation Trail - rail bridge in a larger map
The campaign now moves on to complete the remainder of the missing link, namely:
- a separated bike route along Fogarty Avenue (potentially on the other side of the current noise barriers)
- completion of the yellow, white and orange sections across to the Bay Trail at Hyde Street and the Westgate Punt (pink line)
The yellow and orange sections are relatively easy to achieve and we call upon the Napthine Government to build upon their good work today. The central white section needs a detailed design to be completed.
Hazardous trail section replaced
19 March 2013. A kilometre of new, smooth 3-metre wide concrete trail will replace the notorious cracked bitumen section of the Federation Trail at Laverton North.
Since the initial construction lateral cracks have constantly materialised along the section of the trail from Fitzgerald Road to Leakes Road, creating a hazard for riders.
The original trail design was not appropriate for soil conditions in the area and repeated repairs were needed.
In order to achieve the upgrade the Trail will be fully closed in the section between Fitzgerald Road and Leakes Road over the next four weeks.
VicRoads have provided no detours, as none are recommended as suitable. The best advice they have provided is for cyclists to avoid that area where possible during this period.
VicRoads is aiming to complete the works sooner than four weeks, but it will be dependent on a few factors, including weather.
We look forward to riding along this upgraded section and expect that the disruption will be worth the inconvenience.
Is Baillieu on the level over Federation Trail?
6 September 2012. The Baillieu Government could be on the verge of rescuing the stalled Federation Trail project by agreeing to a bike level crossing over a low-use freight railway track in Brooklyn.
Despite $4.7million in funding carrying over from last year the project ground to a halt when it was discovered the cost estimates were short for the required bridge.
Unpopular re-routing alternatives were formulated by VicRoads, however the region's Councils united in their fierce opposition to anything but the correct alignment; the northern side of the freeay corridor.
We are united with the Council and local riders to see this project through and get the correct outcome and get this money hitting the ground as soon as possible.
By considering a cost-effective level crossing rather than the expensive bridge over the freight corridor, the Baillieu Government has an opportunity to deliver on its commitment (as stated recently by Minister Terry Mulder) to spend this money in 2012/13 .
This new tack could be an opportunity to then use the remaining portion of the $4.7million by completing the path along Fogarty Avenue and also the section (shown in orange on map below) to go around and under the Williamstown rail line and acroos to connect to the Hyde Street path and the Punt.
More Blue Ribbon Riders have been out letting the Baillieu Government know that they are watching and want them to Bring the Bike Budget Back!
These Images showshow the western end where the current path has ground to a halt and the eastern end where it could join up with the Hyde Street Path and also the Punt.
The Federation Trail needs you to act now! You can write to the Baillieu Government to take the initiative and deliver on their Federation Trail commitment now
Election opportunity for candidates to show support
15 August 2012 Bicycle Network Victoria has identified this project as a local council priority for the 2012 Local Government election. Candidates should be ready to support the development and full or partial funding of this project in conjunction with State Government.
The sections between West Footscray Station, along Buckley Street and particularly the gap along Napier Street between Nicholson Street and the Maribyrnong River need Councilor support.
Candidates can tell riders in their Council area their position by posting their candidates' statement at VoteBike.
A bridge too far in the West
26 June 2012 The slated delivery of the Federation Trail gap between Millers Rd and Williamstown Rd has ground to a halt. Bicycle Network believes that there are insufficient funds to construct the much-vaunted bridge over the freight railway line adjacent to the western end of Fogarty Avenue Yarraville. The challenge now lays at the feet of the Baillieu Government to either fully fund the project or to admit defeat and abandon riders from the areas of Werribee to Williamstown who want to access the rest of the network.
Riders have waited patiently for over three years as funding was committed and construction laboured along slowly. The path now sits forlornly, ending at a dead end half way between Millers Road and the rail corridor. Alternatives were canvassed to Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong Councils who not only rejected the proposals but have recruited Brimbank and Wyndham City Councils who have cosigned a letter to the Baillieu Government demanding that the original alignment along the northern side of the freeway be fully funded and constructed immediately.
Minister Terry Mulder stated this week in a press release that the Baillieu Government was committed to the Millers to Williamstown section and we call upon the Baillieu Government to honour this commitment and chalk up a result.
There is strong supprt from not only local government but also local riding groups. Whilst the preferred option by all including Bicycle network Victoria is for the bridge to proceed one option which could see the project proceed is for the Minister to allow the introduction of a level crossing for the path to cross the freight rail corridor. This could save the State Government millions of dollars as the price tag on the bridge is now estimated at well over $5million. Given there are only four trains a day, the interruption to freight and risk to the community is almost nonexistent. This could see the trail proceed, utilising the carry over $4.7million of funding from 2010/11 used to not only get bikes across the rail corridor but could also deliver other sections of the missing link to get riders across to the Bay Trail and the Hyde Street path.
The orange section shown below is certainly achievable and at just over a kilometre in length may only require approximately $1million in funding.
The white section between the east end of Fogarty Avenue and the metro rail line needs invstigating and we have asked for a feasibility study to begin immediately.
You can write to the Baillieu Government and let them know the riders in the west are waiting for action
The map below illustrates the preferred option (Yellow, white and orange sections) north of the freeway. The red section could offer a good access point for residents to the south. Other local connections and proposed alternatives which lack support are also shown to the south.
View federation Trail - Eastern Link Options in a larger map
26 June 2012 VicRoads advises that important concrete maintenance works on Federation Trail will continue into July as the current works have been delayed due to inclement weather. The work is now expected to be completed by Monday 16 July 2012, weather permitting.
Federation Trail will be continue to be closed between Fitzgerald Road and Dohertys Road and between Leakes Road and Sayers Road.
This work will reduce the need for maintenance on Federation Trail long-term, as well as creating a smoother surface for riding.
VicRoads apologises for any inconvenience and suggests that riders seek alternative routes during this time.
VicRoads would like to thank the community for their patience during these works.
For any enquiries, contact VicRoads on 13 11 71.
01 June 2012 After massive cracks had opened up in many sections of the Trail VicRoads had been asked to assess and address the issue after numerous riders complained, some of them sustaining serious injurues requiring hospitalisation. $540,000 will be spent out of maintenance and repairs budgets to fix the issue. VicRoads are to be commended for these works. There will be some short term closures whilst the path is repalced with concrete, a smoother and longer lasting outcome which riders will appreciate once in place.
VicRoads began work on Monday 4 June and aim to finish by Monday 29 June 2012, weather permitting. The work will take place between Fitzgerald Road and Dohertys Road and between Leakes Road and Sayers Road on Federation Trail.
During these times, Federation Trail will be closed between Fitzgerald Road and Dohertys Road and between Leakes Road and Sayers Road in Laverton.
Freight uncertainty delays link
16 April 2012. The final section of the Federation Trail is still stuck on the drawing board as uncertainty over freight transport planning in Melbourne's west delays investment decisions.
The Federation Trail section from Altona North to Footscray—a critical link between the city and the 23km existing trail to Werribee—was to have proceeded this year along with major works to resolve long-standing freight movement problems in and around Footscray and the Port of Melbourne.
However the Truck Action Plan, announced in 2008, appears to have become the inactive truck plan since the election of the Baillieu Government, and so resolution of the design of critical railway and road crossings for the Federation Trail has stalled.
It appears VicRoads is now considering alternative routes for the trail connection.
VicRoads acting regional director Damien Afxentis told local media that it was consulting local councils, VicTrack and Bicycle Network Victoria regarding the alignment for Federation Trail, which was planned to link the existing trail east from Millers Road and connecting to Fogarty Avenue.
The next stage would connect Fogarty Avenue and Hyde Street, but it has not been committed to.
"In order to accelerate the provision of a bicycle link between Millers Road and Douglas Parade-Hyde Street, VicRoads is working on a proposal for an alternative alignment," he said.
"The alternative involves realigning the shared path west of the Newport-Tottenham rail line, using an existing crossing at Brunel Street and continuing with on-road bike lanes connecting to Douglas Parade in Spotswood."
Mr Afxentis said VicRoads would not build an overpass over the Newport-Tottenham freight rail line at this stage. "The alternative proposal linking the existing bicycle paths would provide the community with these facilities at the earliest opportunity."
Penultimate link grinds to halt
12 August 2011. Work on the $9.2M project to link the Federation Trail to the city has inexplicably stopped, with no indication of when work will resume.
Construction has been stopped for some time and initially explanations were reassuring, and work was expected to continue once certain rail safety requirements were checked off.
But more recent questioning has drawn a different response. The following reply comes from the project team: "The construction at the rail and road crossing is not expected to commence until mid 2012 and the duration of the works is expected to take up to 9 months once commenced."
Considering the project was announced with great fanfare, and no barriers to progress have been identified, the unannounced shutdown is a mystery.
Riders are owed an explanation.
Fed Trail fix starts
16 June 2011. VicRoads is improving the pavement on Federation Trail between Leakes Road and Fitzgerald Road, Laverton North over the next three weeks. Due to these important works, the 365 metre long section of Federation Trail will be closed until mid-July.
VicRoads advises Federation Trail users to seek alternative routes or alternative modes of transport. No specific detour route has been provided.
The remedial work is part of a program to address cracking of the asphalt path. This long term solution to improving the path is a result of geotechnical investigations to address cracking due to the expansive soil beneath the path.
Some sections are worse than others so a prioritised program is planned.
VicRoads apologises for any inconvenience caused.
Federation Trail penultimate link to city marches on
22 June 2010. The $9.2 million project to link the Federation Trail to the city moved closer this week with the completion of the vital pedestrian crossing at Millers Road and the start of construction of the shared path to the Newport-Sunshine Railway.
This section is due for completion by end of year with the Bridge over the rail line and three metre path to Williamstown Rd to be completed by mid 2011.
Design of the section between the railway and Williamstown Road is being finalised and will most likely include new style Jersey barriers in lieu of guardrails adjacent to vehicle lanes, and an independent bridge over the railway instead of widening the existing freeway bridge.
The new signals at Milers Rd (pictured left). State member for Williamstown Wade Noonan, Minister Tim Pallas, Minister Justin Madden, Member for Altona Jill Hennessy, Jason den Hollander and Wyndham's Councillor John Menegazzo inspect progreess on the path.
The section between Williamstown Rd and Hyde St presents more of a challenge. Bicycle Network Victoria has been consulted by the VicRoads Truck Action Plan (TAP) team who have proposed to include a bicycle facility as part of their project between these two points.
Currently the TAP is not funded and thus the Federation Trail last hurdle remains to be solved. This remaining one kilometre missing link is all that is blocking a contiuous route from Werribee River to the City.
Millers Road to Williamstown Road design looking good
4 November 2009. VicRoads has completed the detailed scoping and design of the Federation Trail missing link between the existing eastern end at Millers Road and Williamstown Road. This is great news for riders in the South West as this part of the network is a challenge for even the hardiest of rider.
The proposed design will see the introduction of a purpose built set of signals at Millers Road linking to the north side of the Westgate Freeway reserve, through to Williamstown Road. Refer yellow line on map below.
Some elements have presented a challenge to the designers and the proposed alignment is a great result for riders. It involves a small section of land acquistion at a pinch point in the corridor plus a major bridge crossing of the freight railway line.
The path will also open up new opportunities for riders in the Altona/Newport area to take advantage of the Fogarty Road shared bridge across the Westgate Freeway. The project is intended to proceed in the 2010/11 year once land and permissions issues have been resolved.
View Federation Trail Missing Link in a larger map
Truck Action Plan could deliver for bikes
4 November 2009. The State Government's Transport Plan announced in December 2008 included a major freight initiative in the west referred to as the Truck Action Plan (TAP).
The map above shows an indicative extent of the path missing link (orange) which could be included as part of the Truck Action Plan project and would link the Federation Trail between Williamstown Road and Hyde Street to connect to the Westgate Link which leads up to Footscray Road path and onto the CBD.
Bicycle Network Victoria has met with the project team and outlined the issues and opportunities which the TAP represents in completing a vital link in the bicycle network. Here is potential to take the bike path up and over the Williamstown intersection, effectively 'piggybacking' the TAP project.
We will be holding VicRoads and the Department of Transport accountable to deliver on the state government's commitment to include bike facilities as part of all major road and rail projects. Timing of this project is not known at this stage and may be reliant on federal funding to deliver.
We will keep you up to date and may ask you to show your support if the project reaches a critical stage. Click on 'Email me updates' above to be kept informed of future developments.
Massive cracks repaired
30 June 2009. Contractors have recently repaired the massive, tyre swallowing cracks that opened up on the Federation Trail in recent months.
The longitudinal cracking appeared on the surface between Duncans Road and Sneydes Road, Werribee, creating a potential hazard for riders, particularly in low light.
Quick action on reporting these cracks both to Bicycle Network Victoria and VicRoads (as the agency responsible for the Federation Trail) has resulted in timely repair work being undertaken.
This proves that alert and concerned riders can make a real contribution to the quality of the riding environment.
Riders are encouraged to report similar issues on their local trails, paths and roads.
Follow the steps in the Take Action area of our website to find out how to get things fixed quickly and correctly.
Werribee River aqueduct replacement will cause temporary diversions
9 January 2008. The replacement of the Werribee River aqueduct that is scheduled to begin shortly will cause temporary diversions in the near-term, but will deliver a shared path bridge on top of the new structure that will extend the Federation Trail across the River.
The new aqueduct bridge will allow the Federation Trail to connect to the proposed Werribee Park River Trail that is expected to be built by Parks Victoria within the next 18 months. The aqueduct bridge therefore, is a useful project that will deliver long-term benefits to riders.
The diversions will also affect the Werribee River Trail.
The Pipelines Alliance, which is the managing authority for the project, has provided the following information about the project and associated diversions:
aqueduct replacement Werribee River
Temporary bike path diversions for the Federation Trail and Werribee River Trail
Melbourne Water is replacing a sewer aqueduct that crosses the
This work will commence in January 2009 and is expected to finish by mid-2010.
A temporary diversion of the Federation Trail and Werribee River Trail will be in place over this time to ensure cyclists can still ride as safely as possible between
The Pipelines Alliance consulted Wyndham City Council, VicRoads and Bicycle Network Victoria in developing these temporary diversions to maintain safety and minimise inconvenience for cyclists and pedestrians. Wyndham City Council and VicRoads, as owners of the Federation Trail and Werribee River Trail, have approved these diversion routes.
Details of the temporary diversions are outlined below and in Map 1.
Cyclists travelling from
Cyclists travelling from
Cyclists travelling from
Cyclists travelling from Werribee to Melbourne - use the existing Werribee River Trail and then follow signs along an alternative connection to the Federation Trail, which has been established for the duration of the works. Cyclists then follow the existing Federation Trail to
Cyclists travelling from Werribee to Geelong – use the existing Werribee River Trail and follow signs to an alternative connection to the Federation Trail. Note there is no access to the Princes Freeway (Geelong-bound) at the
Cyclists travelling from
Reinstatement of site and bicycle paths following completion of works
The Pipelines Alliance is building the new aqueduct as a bicycle and pedestrian bridge to help connect existing and planned shared paths, parks and residential developments in the area.
The new bicycle and pedestrian bridge will be built with platforms for viewing the heritage-listed Melbourne Outfall Sewer structure and a new resting place near an existing water fountain on the Federation Trail.
The site will also be revegetated and landscaped to minimise the visual impact of the structure using indigenous species consistent with Melbourne Water and Wyndham City Council requirements.
Background about the Werribee Aqueduct replacement project
The Werribee Aqueduct
The Werribee Aqueduct takes up to 60% of
The current aqueduct has reached the end of its life and must be replaced.
This project is part of a major, five-year program of works to improve
A new aqueduct - measuring 5.4 metres in height and 5.4 metres in width and spanning 70 metres across the
Construction works will commence in January 2009 and are expected to finish in mid-2010.
Call the Pipelines Alliance on 1800 108 636 (toll free) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this project.
Or call Melbourne Water on 131 722 or visit melbournewater.com.au for general information about other projects to secure a sustainable water future.
The Pipelines Alliance is a partnership between Fulton Hogan,
Jaydo, GHD and Melbourne Water
Connection identified in Eddington Study
The study said:
Eddington Project 1
Extend the Federation Trail (which runs from Werribee to Millers Road, Brooklyn) from Millers Road to Hyde Street (around 4.2 km) and upgrade the existing facility from Hyde Street to Footscray Road (around 3 km), which links with the Riverside Park bike path to Williamstown. This extension would provide a high quality western link all the way from Werribee and Williamstown to Docklands and the central city. Estimated cost: $17 million Total length: 7.2 km
This is a good idea. Point Cook, Laverton airfield and other new suburbs will generate demand for bike routes to the CBD and are in the potential catchment. This project is not urgent as the demand is not yet established. This project could be delivered (or be made impossible) by the East west Truck route mentioned in the East West Link Needs Assessment.
The southernmost element of the proposed truck route duplicates much of the proposed link mentioned in the East West Link Needs Assessment between the CBD and the Federation Trail. The two projects need to be considered together. Failure to incorporate the bike link into this Truck Action Plan would significantly reduce future possibilities to link the Federation Trail to Footscray and toward the CBD.
The north south connection mentioned from Hyde Street to Footscray Road is scoped, costed, funded and partly complete. We call it the Westgate Link and support it strongly.
Federation Trail Funding Boost
Jul 07 After the Federation trail opened in late 2006 concerns were raised by riders about the quality of the trail surface. We have been working with VicRoads since then in an attempt to resolve this.
Minister Tim Pallas has announced that the surface will be improved along the remaining 9km, ensuring the entire length is now a smooth surface to cater for all types of bikes and riders.
This is a great outcome for riders in the west. If you'd like to thank Minister Pallas you can send him an email.
Locals ride by as Minister Tim Pallas discusses the new surface with John Moylan, VicRoads and Harry Barber
Some sections of the Federation Trail to be repaired.
Apr 07 It is no secret that the surface of the new Federation Trail is quite rough and in some areas it has actually started to fall apart.
The good news is that almost ten kilometres of the 23 kilometere long trail are about to be repaired and resurfaced with a smooth bitumen surface.
The not so good news is that the fate of the remaining non-concrete sections remains unclear. All of these sections have failed the International Roughness Indicator test. The contract for the construction specified that the trail must pass this test.
Bicycle Network Victoria strongly believes that the full length of the trail should be resurfaced. We are currently working towards this aim with VicRoads and Minister Pallas and are hopeful that riders will have a smooth Federation Trail within months.
Resealing of the worst sections will commence towards the end of April and will result in some sections of the trail being closed for a few days at a time.
We will be pursuing the development of a method of measuring and subsequent benchmark for the satisfactory 'smoothness' standard for the construction of sealed paths. Whilst there is a defined standard for roads, this has been set with the tolerances of vehicles in mind. A sealed bike path standard would ideally reflect the acceptable tolerances of riding a bike. This would help give clarity to stakeholders and contractors in future.
To stay up to date with the latest news click on email me updates above.
Riders already enjoying the Federation Trail.
Nov 06 “Thanks to the new Federation Trail, 25% of our clients are now riding their bikes to our gym. More and more parents are discovering they no longer need to drive their children to our Children’s Club. Fitness class and some weight loss clients are also riding to and from the gym.” Cheryl, Personal Trainer, BoxingFit, Hoppers Crossing
Federation Trail Opening enjoyed by hundreds of people
Federation Trail Opening enjoyed by hundreds of people
Minister for Transport, Peter Batchelor, officially opened the trail at a festive day with a popular barbeque provided by Roary and Apex clubs. Children enjoyed face painting and a jumping castle and all enjoyed riding along the new Federation Trail.
Official Launch to mark the opening of Federation Trail
Oct 06 Come along and enjoy Melbourne's newest offroad path. 23km in length reaching from Werribee to all the way in to Brooklyn.
This represents a significant investment by Vicroads giving residents of the south-western suburbs their first major offroad path which will become a cycling artery in the area.
Date: October 22nd 2006
Time: 9.30 am
Where: Skeleton Creek reserve, Hoppers Crossing (Melway ref. 207 C1) Access via Federation Trail or access via Elm Park Drive, Hoppers Crossing.
May 06 Construction has finally started on the long awaited Federation Trail that will run from Werribee to Millers Road in Altona. The trail should be completed later in the year. Feb 06. Following a successful case in VCAT, VicRoads has awarded the tender for the construction of the Federation Trail. The contract specifies completion of the work by the end of October.
VCAT ruling: A win for all cyclists
Background: The VCAT hearing
The beleaguered Federation Trail is facing its latest battle as two industrial companies located near to the proposed trail alignment have objected to the planning grounds set out by Wyndham City Council.
The industrialists argued that they require a buffer zone from recreational use due to the 'offensive' nature of their industry.
Day TwoMuch of the argument on Day Two centred around whether the intended alignment was in planning terms a road, therefore requiring no planning permit. Rob Milner, a town planner, testified that he believed the MOS alignment was a road; that it provided for the passage of vehicles and was a linear space that was used to travel from destination to destination. He discounted the counter argument that the use under informal outdoor recreation was a cycle track, saying that he believed this definition applied generally to circuits, such as velodromes and athletic tracks and was therefore not applicable. He also discounted the argument that the MOS alignment be classified as an innominate use, believing that the use was prescribed (ie a shared use path). VicRoads' lawyer also argued that Worksafe, EPA, Bicycle Network Victoria all agreed that the MOS route was acceptable for cyclists and shared path users, provided the Industrial companies adhered to their licencing requirements.
All sumbissions have now been heard. A site visit of the MOS alignment has been organised for Friday 21 October 2005.
Federation Trail start announced
May 05 On 11 May, VicRoads finally called for tenderers for the Design and Construction of the long awaited Federation Trail from Werribee to Brooklyn. The tender is for 22km of paved shared path between the Werribee River in Werribee and Millers Road in Brooklyn, passing through the Cities of Brimbank, Hobson’s Bay and Wyndham predominantly along the reservation of the historic Main Outfall Sewer. Tenders close on 6 July 2005.
Thank you to all who wrote letters to their local members regarding the delayed construction of this trail. Your efforts have finally paid off.
Bicycle Network Victoria and the people of the west will be keeping a close eye on progress to make sure the Government fulfils its promise.
We are still urging people to write or email their local State Member of Parliament and tell them how important the trail is to them. The Government needs to know that you, your family, friends and your community want and need the trail. Ask them to keep their promise – but please make the letter positive.
The contact details for the local members are below. We’ve tried to match you to electorates and local members by postcode. These categories do not always overlap. You can confirm the contact details of your local member at the Parliamentary Handbook webpage.
Cyclists banned from freeway
July 03 Cyclists can use Geelong Rd in both directions between Corio and the Werribee Western interchange (Melway map 408 C3) but have been permanently banned from the freeway between Werribee and the City.
The freeway is not deemed safe for cycling due to the multilane, high speed off ramps and reduced lateral clearances beneath bridges, but the safe off-road alternative, the Federation Trail, has not been built.
Despite an announcement in 2001 that the Federation Trail would be complete by late 2002, construction of the trail has been delayed indefinitely. Issues around the long-term management of the trail and ownership of the land have still not been resolved.
These issues were known from the very start and Minister Batchelor needs to resolve them.
It is important that the trail is completed as soon as possible and to the highest standard. Bicycle Network Victoria is asking that trail construction starts in Werribee so that cyclists can start making meaningful trips, and that roads on the temporary cycle detour route are made as safe as possible.
The Federation trail is part of the Geelong Rd upgrade and will give residents of the west access to the sort of trails taken for granted in other parts of Melbourne.
When constructed, cyclists will be able to ride 22km from Altona to Werribee on a magnificent trail set in a 40 metre wide, landscaped linear park.
History of the campaign
Bicycle Network Victoria and other supporters have been campaigning for this route for 16 years. The death of cyclist Gary Harris in 1995 on the Geelong Rd contributed to the government's decision to build the Federation Trail.
Gary was hit and killed by a car at the off ramp to the Point Cook overpass on 16 September 1995 and the State Coroner called for the construction of an off-road bicycle link from Werribee to the City.
The Federation Trail will be that link. In 2001 the Minister for Transport, Peter Batchelor announced that the $15m Federation Trail will follow its original historic route along the 100-year-old Main Outfall Sewer.
After almost three years of delays, cyclists were starting to wonder if the trail would ever be built. In June 2001, Minister Batchelor had announced that the Federation Trail would be build by the end of 2002 as part of the Geelong Rd upgrade. But there had been no action since then.
So, in early August 2004, Bicycle Network Victoria wrote to over 2,500 people we know in western Melbourne and asked them to write to their local State members of parliament – Lynn Kosky, Mary Gillett and Premier Steve Bracks – and tell them how important the promised trail was to the people of the west.
After being inundated with letters from people of the western suburbs of Melbourne, the State Government finally announced on 24 August 2004 that work will be starting on the long awaited Federation Trail. The response was overwhelming and prompted the government into action. But completion of the trail is still a way off.
Minister Batchelor’s press release states: “Work on the trail will commence once an agreement has been reached and a contract for the project awarded, which is likely to be next year.”
This is very similar to the wording in his original June 2001 press release. It means the Trail will not be completed until late 2005 at the earliest.
In February 2005 VicRoads set a timeline leading to the commencment of trail. They announced that the project would be put to tender in April with all submissions due by July 2005.