Two initiatives are underway for potential coastal trails on the Victorian southern coastline.
In the first, the local community has initiated investigations into a much-needed “green link" between Ocean Grove and Point Lonsdale.
The two popular holiday townships are proximate, and linked by magnificent beaches, but what could be a comfortable bike ride or hike between them is not currently possible.
Instead riders have to go the long way around on the busy Shell Road to connect to the two towns, and Queenscliff, and the rest of the Bellarine Peninsula trail network.
The proposal, currently known as the Southern Bellarine Coastal Trail, is being discussed in the context of the future of the "green wedge” – sensitive undeveloped territory along the coastal corridor between the two centres.
The natural environment along the coast, especially the very large sand dune accumulations, must be protected from erosion.
Public access through the area, sensitively designed and managed, would increase awareness of this magnificent environment, and reinforce public oversight of its care and protection.
The initiative is being hosted by the Ocean Grove Community Association and Point Lonsdale Civic Association and the groups have organised a full day forum to discuss the opportunities and risks.
A full list of expert speakers will present.
It will take place at the Shell Road Pavilion in Ocean Grove on Friday 21st June 2019. There is no charge to participate and lunch and refreshments will be provided. Registration 9:30 for 10:00 am start and closing by 4:30 pm.
You can book here. Numbers will be limited to 150 people.
Following the forum, the Ocean Grove Community Association will produce a summary document of the key issues, stating the draft Vision Statement, listing the opportunities and risks, and outlining the “next steps”.
The initiative follows other moves further along the coast to connect a network of off-roads routes that link townships along the coast.
One such concept is to link Torquay through to Breamlea. And there have been calls for such links beyond Angelsea.
Fairhaven to Skenes Creek Coast Trail
In the second initiative, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is assessing the value, benefits and options for a coastal walking and/or cycling trail between Fairhaven and Skenes Creek, in Great Ocean Road region.
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. It attracts millions of visitors each year, supporting local communities and the economy.
This DELWP study will focus on the 60 kilometres of coastline between Fairhaven and Skenes Creek.
The Fairhaven to Skenes Creek Coastal Trail Study will:
- Consider potential opportunities and challenges associated with trail development
- Identify a feasible route and develop concept designs
- Assess social, economic and environmental benefits of a trail
- Estimate construction costs.
You can have your say to inform the study through two phases of community consultation in June and July 2019. Learn more at engage.vic.gov.au.
The trend to active travel provision in coastal and holiday towns is a world-wide one, as communities have found that people who go on holidays to ‘get away from it all’ seem to be bringing the choking traffic along with them.
This is something that Bicycle Network were campaigning for during the federal election, encouraging residents to let their electorates know that a Great Ocean Trail network with off-road trails linking the coastal towns and hamlets is the perfect opportunity for the federal government to invest in bicycle infrastructure.
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