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 the state government has committed $450,000 to transform into a shared path.
The pathway has the enormous potential to revitalise tourism in the area and provide locals with a safe, separated cycleway. 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 – Federal funding announced and councils committed
The future is looking promising for the North-West Coastal pathway, with $4.8 million in federal funding announced in May 2018 and councils backing the project in August 2017.
The state government announced $450,000 funding in March 2018 to convert the old Forth River Bridge into part of the pathway.
The State Government, Burnie Council and the Waratah-Wynyard Council have already announced $3.7 million of funding to convert the disused rail corridor between Burnie and Wynyard into a shared pathway. Work is expected to start on this section in late 2018.
For the pathway to be a success and progress quickly, it needs the state government to match federal government funding for the Sulphur Creek to Latrobe sections.
Once the state government pledges money for this section of the path it will leave the Burnie to Heybridge section as the last remaining part to be designed and funded.
There are a few considerations that are yet to be resolved in the design of the final sections.
- The shared path concept must extend for the length of the pathway to ensure people have the choice of riding or walking the entire path.
- Allowing riders to mix with traffic in small sections must be accompanied by 30km speed limits and obvious signage and linemarking, otherwise younger and older riders may be scared off.
- Ideally riders and walkers are separated from traffic for the entire pathway. If this can’t be achieved with current funding, plans need to be put in place to allow it to happen at a later date.
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:
Contact state MPs
Contact your local MP to let them know you support the calls for the state government to provide funding of $4.8 million to finish the Sulphur Creek to Latrobe sections of the pathway.MP details
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