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napier street footscray
Shorten commits $4.8M to Footscray route

A Labor government would invest $4.8M in a major bike corridor through Footscray, the Shorten campaign announced today.

The funding would complete a link from West Footscray Station to the Maribyrnong River via Napier Street.

The resources would come from the $260 million National Bike Paths Strategy announced during campaigning earlier this week.

The Napier Street route has been in prospect for years.

At one stage the project was slated to be built as part of the Shepherd bridge upgrade, but that never eventuated.

VicRoads have previously completed designs for different options, but various problems, including failed funding bids, and opposition from the City of Maribyrnong, have stymied the project.

Now the council supports the proposal, and it is understood it is part of the State Government’s forthcoming list of strategic cycling corridor priorities.

The advantage of the route is that it connects to the path from Sunshine at one end, and the Footscray Road route to the city at the other.

Shadow Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the project complements investment the Victorian State Government has made in the Dynon Road Cyclist Improvement projects to open up Melbourne’s west for cyclists.

"The Napier Street Link will help more cyclists to feel safe on roads in Melbourne’s west, with the construction of a fully separated bike path between McNab Avenue and Hyde St,” he said.

"Despite Footscray and Brunswick being the same distance from the Melbourne CBD, almost three times as many Brunswick residents cycle to work as those in Footscray.

"The safety of cyclists on the road and the quality of cycling infrastructure in Melbourne's west is part of the reason for this relatively low cycling rate.

"Labor’s investment will make cycling safer for everyone and encourage more people to get involved in cycling.”

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