A major effort is underway to banish the missing links on the Bay Trail along the Mornington Peninsula.
While sections of the trail have been established over time, there are still major gaps south of Frankston.
Mornington Peninsula Shire is now leading a major project that will complete the missing links, thus making a major improvement to walking and cycling infrastructure on the Peninsula.
When finished the project will include around 100 km of what will be branded the Peninsula Trail.
The Peninsula Trail has been identified by the Shire as a strategic project for investment, to boost the local economy and support the COVID-19 recovery.
The Shire says the trail offers residents and visitors a unique experience, with a variety of uses and provides access to diverse picturesque coastal and hinterland environments, connecting local townships and attractions including The Briars, Arthurs Seat Mountain Bike tracks and world class wineries.
The Shire is advocating to the Victorian and Federal Governments to deliver a total funding commitment of $50 million, including $20 million for phase 1 (2022-2026), in addition to the $2 million already secured from the Federal Government.
The priority links for completion are the Baxter to Somerville, Moorooduc to Mornington and Anthony’s Nose at McCrae.
There is already $2m of Federal Funding committed and design is now being completed for the Baxter to Somerville piece that then links to the existing Trail to Tyabb, Hastings, Somers and Balnarring.
The Moorooduc to Mornington section starts from the end of Peninsula Link at Moorooduc, runs to the beach at Mornington, and links to the existing Harrap Creek Trail through to the Briars and Mt Martha.
It has enjoyed extensive community support and advocacy by the Mornington Community Safelink Group, because of the active transport options it will provide the residents of the Peninsula’s largest town, Mornington.
The section at Anthony’s Nose at McCrae is known to many walkers and cyclists because the current narrow path forces them into the traffic on Point Nepean Road.
Mornington Shire has committed $.5m in this year's budget to progress the Peninsula Trail, primarily for community consultation, advocacy for funding with both State and Federal elections coming up, and to progress and finalise the design of the priority sections.
The Council was encouraged by the community support for the Peninsula Trail expressed through the recent community consultation for their Imagine 2040 Vision.
The Shire is being supported in this project by the eight Rotary Clubs on the Mornington Peninsula, who as part of their celebration and recognition of the Centenary of Rotary in Australia, are each delivering an initial project to provide community facilities and signage along the Trail, as part of their long-term involvement.
They have also initiated a Facebook page to enable communication with the community as things progress.
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