In an early strike for bikes in this year's State election campaign the Liberal Party has committed to fund the proposed Anniversary Trail bridge over Toorak Road in Camberwell.
The $8M announcement was made this week by the Party’s candidate for Ashwood, Asher Judah.
A bridge at Toorak Road has long been on the wish list of bike riders and walkers along the trail along the route of then old Outer Circle rail line.
The awkward, misaligned Toorak Road crossing would be eliminated by a new elevated structure that takes bikes above the road, alongside the existing rail bridge.
The City of Boroondara undertook a feasibility study and then a concept design was produced in 2018.
And last year the Victorian Government announced funding for further development and design work.
However, there have been no sightings of further activity since then, with no mention in this year’s State Budget.
"The Anniversary Trail is one of Melbourne’s most iconic bike trails providing an important, shared path link through the suburbs of Ashburton, Glen Iris, Camberwell and Canterbury," Asher Judah said.
"An elected State Liberal Government will invest $8 million constructing a seamless connection between the north and south sides of Toorak Road with a bridge and ramps completing this important link.
"Local cyclists and families have presented a powerful case for building this important 'missing link'. Sooner or later, an accident is going to happen and we shouldn't be waiting for a tragedy to act.
"An elected State Liberal Government will invest in this project to ensure everyone can travel north-south without traffic incident or risk
Mr Judah said he was interested in further consultation on the project and was very keen to hear from all stakeholders about Boroondara's design and if any improvements can be made.
The existing road crossing has been a blight on the popular trail for many years.
The Trail is a Strategic Cycling Corridor and links to a number of railway stations and schools.
The 30-metre-long structure is proposed to go on the west side of the existing railway line.
The preferred outcome of a bridge on the west side importantly met the requirements of all technical stakeholders in the area, namely Yarra Trams, VicRoads, Metro Trains Melbourne, Public Transport Victoria and VicTrack.
The council concept incorporated an increased landscape buffer between the Jickell Avenue property boundaries and the existing Anniversary Trail with new landscaping, fencing and trellis.
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