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Farm Road awaits bridge planning

The Alphington Link—the long-planned local connection to the Darebin Creek Trail near the LaTrobe Golf Club—is closer to reality with the release of a preferred route and concept designs.

The preferred option is a direct link from Farm Road travelling alongside the clubhouse driveway and on a bridge above golf course land and descending to the existing trail along the creek.

The 120m long and 3.5m wide path will provide access to the trail to riders and pedestrians from the nearby suburbs whom until now have not had a direct connection to the magnificent trail that curved through their neighbourhood.

Once onto the new bridge, locals will have direct access to hundreds of kilometres of connected trails across metropolitan Melbourne.

It will also provide an import link for school children getting to and from school in a safe riding and walking environment.

The local connection was, decades ago, part of the original conception of a Darebin Creek trail through to the nearby Yarra River but was not built along with the rest of the project due to planning permit complications resulting from a futile legal challenge against the trail extension.

Now that a route has been established, the formal planning now needs to be completed.

To view the planning documents and provide feedback, visit the Alphington Link project webpage.

You can also take part in online information sessions in December, where you can ask questions and provide feedback.

Other options considered for the link included:
  • creating an Old Heidelberg Road link
  • traversing the perimeter of the Latrobe Golf Course driving range
  • installing a shared user path adjacent to Heidelberg Road
  • creating a link from the end of View Street over the Yarra River.

Local stakeholders favour the selected route.

To keep the long-delayed project moving ahead the Department of Transport is requesting the Minister for Planning amend the existing planning scheme under Section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, without usual notice requirements.

DoT is also considering installation of a raised platform crossing on Farm Road to provide a safe entrance on to the bridge.

The overall cost of project is estimated at $9.1M.

The Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll, said: “The upgrade will provide an important link to and from local schools, work, and the many other trails across Melbourne.”

The Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous, said: "For Alphington residents, this means they won’t have to travel along the busy Heidelberg Road when accessing the Darebin Creek Trail.

“Local collaboration and advocacy has been a big part of making the Alphington Link a reality, and community feedback will continue to play an important role in this exciting project.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.