eastern suburbs rail trail
Box Hill to Hawthorn trail gathers steam

The proposal for a vital bike corridor into central Melbourne from the east has firmed up as the Department of Transport (DoT) moves to conclude a feasibility study into a bike corridor from Box Hill to Hawthorn.

DoT has examined the corridor from end to end, taking into consideration the multiple factors that will influence the design and alignment of the route.

"We’ve now completed our multi criteria analysis on several alignment options taking into consideration the strategic cycling corridor key principles as well as several other factors which has resulted in two shortlisted alignment options for further investigations,” the DoT states.

"The preferred alignment options will require further investigation with the need for broader community consultation in the future.”

Bicycle Network, councils and local bike groups have been briefed on the progress of the work.

Rail corridors lend themselves to hosting bike routes because they are generally flat and continuous.

It is also helpful that there are usually streets along the corridors that have housing on one side only, that these streets are usually good routes for commuters to ride a bike to the local railway station, and that station precincts and shopping centres are popular destinations for bike riders.

It is equally true that there are often major roads, underpasses and other infrastructure obstacles that are encountered along the way, and solutions require commitment, imagination, and funding.

Melbourne’s eastern suburbs have been starved of first class bike infrastructure, non-the-less riding has always been popular, and has been growing.

There is undoubtedly a large untapped market for riding in Melbourne’s east, one that will burst open when more and better facilities become the norm.

The aim of the study was to:
  • Identify route options for a cycling and walking link between Box Hill and Hawthorn
  • Identify route options that will link the ten railway stations between Box Hill and Hawthorn
  • Identify route options to provide connections to other bicycle routes to the north and south and activity centres along the route
  • Work with other agencies (local councils, rail) to ensure route options integrate well into existing and future infrastructure

More information on the outcomes is expected to be made public in the new year.

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