The on-again off-again extension of the Upfield Trail through to the M-80 Ring Road has been confirmed, with a starting date locked in for the middle of next year.
When completed, riders will be able to link up to the M-80 Trail and thus through to the Merri Creek and Darebin Creek Trails and beyond to the east, or to the suburbs further west in the other direction.
The move will supplement the recent major upgrade of the trail through Brunswick and Coburg as part of the level crossing removals project.
Several years ago Bicycle Network was assisting with the planning of the funded extension, but is was unexpectedly put on ice in late 2019 for reasons that remain obscure.
Currently the trail proper ends at Box Forest Road, although riders can ride on Sages Road through to Gowrie Station.
The intention is to construct a new section of trail from the end of Sages Road through to the M-80.
Although no plans are available, it appears Sages Road will have and on-road facility at far as Gowrie Station, in a low-speed traffic environment.
The existing Upfield Trail runs for approximately 8km, from Royal Park to Hadfield, adjacent to the Upfield Railway Line.
It accommodates 2,500 bicycle riders daily and connects to key routes such as Merri Creek Trail, Moonee Ponds Creek Trail and the Capital City Trail.
As well as the extension, expected to cost about $3.5M, the government is also spending $250,000 on lighting upgrades, underway now.
Solar-powered LED lighting is planned at:
- Box Forest Road to Fawkner Station in Hadfield
- Plaisted Street near Merylnston Station to Shorts Road in Coburg
- North Spry Street to Bakers Road in Coburg
- North Rogers Street to O’hea Street in Coburg
However, plans to change the trail alignment near Merlynston Station may change as part of the provision of extra parking at the station.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.