The completion of the rail line to Mernda has focused attention on the new trail that will take bike riders along the route from South Morang to Mernda, and to stations along the way.
Work continues on the trail with sections being completed in stages, with the full trail finished by early December.
It is being built mostly by the Level Crossings Removal Authority (LXRA) as part of the rail line extension, and some sections are being delivered by Whittlesea Council.
The section between Hawkstowe and The Parkway should be open sometime next week, leaving the section from South Morang to Yan Yean Pipe Track to be done.
Many riders have been anxious for the completion of the connection so that they can avoid having to drive to the new railway stations at Mernda, Middle Gorge and Hawkstowe.
The new stations have secure Parkiteer bike parking as well as plentiful parking rails nearby.
There are a number of connecting trails planned for the area, to be delivered by LXRA, the council, VicRoads and the Major Road Project Authority.
The City of Whittlesea will spend $1.5 million on a series of shared use paths and footpath connections.
Mayor Kris Pavlidis said the important project would help pedestrians and cyclists connect with the new station and future shopping precinct.
“These paths will provide vital connections for our residents and we are pleased to be able to work with the State Government to make it happen,” she said.
“It’s exciting times in the City of Whittlesea. In a few short weeks residents in the north of the municipality will be able to enjoy train travel on their doorstep.”
Mill Park MP and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said: “The co-operation of Whittlesea Council and the Andrews Labor Government has made it possible to deliver paths for pedestrians and bike riders from the various locations to the new train stations.”
Member for Yan Yean, Danielle Green said: “Thank you to the myriad of agencies who are working hard in partnership with the Andrews Labor Government and Whittlesea Council to deliver these paths in time for the opening of the new Mernda Rail line.
I’m passionate about giving people as many options as possible to access the train without having to use a car.
Whittlesea Local Government Area has the highest rate of heart disease in Victoria, and the healthiest and easiest way to turn this around is to get out of our cars and walk and cycle.”
Paths will be built at the following locations:
- Bridge Inn Road, Mernda (south side) from the new station to Plenty Road
- Bridge Inn Road, Mernda (south side) from the new station to Towerhill Avenue - delivered by Major Road Projects Authority, VicRoads and the Level Crossing Removal Authority.
- Old Plenty Road, South Morang - footpath connections linking residential areas to Middle Gorge Station
- Vincent Drive, South Morang – footpath connections linking residential areas, including Arilla Retirement Village to Middle Gorge Station
- Simon Creek, Mernda – shared use path located at the rear of Gilsons College providing an east/west link to Mernda Station
- Yan Yean Pipe Track – shared use path from Williamsons Road to the rail corridor
- Yan Yean Pipe Track – shared use path from McDonalds Road to the rail corridor - delivered by a developer
An artists impression of the Mernda path from John Holland