Bike riders are missing out on rail trails to ride in NSW due to government inaction on legislation and local landholder opposition.
Currently, rail trails in NSW are limited to a few short trails in the Blue Mountains and Newcastle.
Many railway lines in NSW are unused and unmaintained – some have been closed since the 1960s. The overwhelming majority of these railway lines will never be used again.
Unlike other Australian states, these railway corridors remain unused because an act of NSW parliament is required officially close the line and transform it into a rail trail.
- Businesses and local communities are missing out on the tourism and economic benefits rail trails can deliver.
- In some cases, opposition from adjacent landowner has put a halt to progress.
With gentle gradients and lovely views, rail trails are ideal for families and occasional bike riders.
As a result, rail trails are popular tourist attractions and local economies develop around rail trails to service visitors. They also provide a unique healthy space for physical activity connecting regional communities.
Launch of Rail Trails for NSW
State government allocates $110 million for new tourism infrastructure for Regional NSW, in a move that was expected to kick-start the development of rail trails in the state.
Deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner, stated one of the first projects likely to be funded is the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.
More than 100 angry locals showed up when the rail trail project had a launch at Tumut recently. Farmers in the southern New South Wales region have claimed that bikes will spread footrot through the Gilmore Valley once the new Tumut-Batlow Rail Trail is built, despite that the infection is spread from sheep to sheep.
The construction of NSW’s first rail trail – from Tumbarumba to Rosewood – could begin in 2016, says the NSW government.
Bicycle Network joins the push to transform the disused Cowra to Blayney rail line into a tourism boosting, recreational rail trail.
New South Wales seems finally on track to get its first lengthy rail trail with legislation passed in the NSW Legislative Council allowing access to 21 kilometres of disused, public-owned rail line from Tumbarumba to Rosewood in Southern NSW.
The line will form part of the first section of the proposed 160 kilometre-long Riverina Highlands Rail Trail.
NSW Government announces a commitment to construct of a section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail between Murwillumbah and Crabbes Creek.
The project requires further community consultation before legislation can be introduced to parliament.
$13 million is committed by federal and state government to form a part of the trail from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek.
Pass a one-off and all-encompassing Rail Trails Act.
Bicycle Network has joined forces with Rail Trails For NSW and Rail Trails Australia to make rail trails a reality for the millions of NSW residents who want to have their own healthy places to ride and tourism success stories.
Once a Rail Trails Act has been achieved, the NSW Government needs to develop a Rail Trails Strategy and establish a permanent rail trail funding program for the state so that construction can begin on priority proposals.
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