Tasmania’s North West Coastal Pathway is one of the state’s key off road trails, and while parts have been built, gaps still remain.
Identified for a decade as one of Australia’s great coastal rides, when finished the North West Coastal Pathway will be a 110km off-road trail that links Latrobe to Devonport and on to Wynard.
While sections of the pathway exist, gaps within the trail remain, like the historic, disused rail bridge in Forth which has hit many roadblocks.
The pathway has the enormous potential to revitalise tourism in the area. But without consistent sources of funding and ongoing council support, progress to fill the gaps has been slow.
This project dates back to 1997, with the full proposal fleshed out by the Cradle Coast Authority in 2010. We’re keen to see it funded and completed.
Councils and the State Government must continue to work together to extend the pathway and fill the gaps.
UPDATE – Funding announced and councils committed
The future is looking promising for the North-West Coastal pathway, with funding announced and councils backing the project in August 2017.
The State Government, Burnie Council and the Waratah-Wynyard Council announced $3.7 million of funding to convert the disused rail corridor between Burnie and Wynyard into a shared pathway.
For the pathway to be a success and progress quickly, it needs continued state government support along with federal government funding.
Another key driver of success is building broad community support across business and tourism sectors while continuing to have local bike advocates involved at all levels.
- The Cradle Coast Authority and North West councils must continue to show unity on the project in recognising it as a top-priority regional project.
- The most active council has been Central Coast. Its share of the pathway now runs from west of Ulverstone to Turners Beach and is a micro-version of what could be achieved.
- The heritage-listed Forth River railway bridge must be restored as a shared pathway but needs the State Government to share the cost.
- Devonport City has an impressive bike trail network that needs to be extended west to link to Central Coast’s section and to the east to connect to Port Sorell and Latrobe.
We’ll continue to work behind the scenes with local stakeholders and decision-makers to keep progress on track.
In the meantime, here’s how you can help us: