New trail addition in Ringwood

The Victorian Government has announced it will complete the Heathmont Rail Trail through to Ringwood as part of the Bedford Road level crossing removal.

The 440m section of new trail along the rail track means riders will no longer be forced on to the road at Lena Grove.

The 3m-wide trail extension will connect the 19.2-kilometre Heathmont Rail Trail to Bedford Park alongside the Belgrave Line, right at Ringwood Secondary College.

A new signalised crossing on Bedford Road will connect path users to Bedford Park via Rosewarne Lane, improving safety for both bike riders and pedestrians, including the hundreds of children and seniors who use the facilities at Bedford Park each week.

The shared use path will be open to the community in 2025.

Bicycle Network pointed out the opportunity for the trail connection when the project was first announced, and the Level Crossings project has reported that there has been overwhelming local feedback in support of the plan.

However, the route has already been mapped as a Strategic Cycling Corridor, a fact that should have been accounted for in the Level Crossing project plans from the beginning.

Furthermore, the City of Maroondah, with input from Bicycle Network, has already undertaken considerable planning and preliminary design work on bike connections in this precinct, and for the Strategic Cycling Corridor along the adjacent Lilydale rail line, work that LX surely should have been aware of.

The state government should not have to be stampeded into making these bike connections; they should be rolled out as a matter of course in accordance with the requirements for transport integration in LX and other major projects.

The Bedford Road Level Crossing Removal Project will take trains underneath the road via a 380-metre rail trench.

Site investigations and community engagement will continue throughout 2022, with major construction to start in 2023 and the boom gates gone by 2025.

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