Push for cycleway

Cycleway campaigners are meeting with the RTA .
Cycleway campaigners are meeting with the RTA .

A PUSH to see a dedicated cycleway built alongside the Pacific Highway – between Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga – is gaining momentum.

For the proposal to become a reality, residents on the northern beaches will need to prove their case with a large show in numbers before the Roads and Traffic Authority.

The cycleway will be discussed at a community consultation meeting in Coffs Harbour on Saturday, at 1.30pm, where the public will be briefed on the $705 million Sapphire to Woolgoolga Highway upgrade.

Supporters say if it’s not built as part of the highway upgrade, the cycleway may never happen. United Residents Group of Emerald spokesman Tony Rothacker said the RTA plans only incorporate cycle and pedestrian access on fly-over overpass bridges at Sapphire and south of Woolgoolga.

Mr Rothacker said a two-metre cycle lane would also run along the shoulders of existing highway stretches, which would be converted into 80km/h local service roads between Sapphire and Woolgoolga.

A bike track would also run across road access bridges over Cunninghams and Skinners bridges.

For meeting details, see Wednesday’s Coffs Coast Advocate.

The standalone cycleway along the Pacific Highway is a throw back to the Coastline Cycleway, conceived in the mid 1980s.

Professor Elias Duek-Cohen, a life fellow of the Urban Planning Institute, called on the government of the day to build the major tourist attraction as a healthy alternative to driving.

Professor Duek-Cohen says the cycleway can be seamlessly incorporated into the current highway upgrade north of Coffs Harbour.

“If our alternate proposal is successful, it will give all the northern beaches residents and vulnerable road users a main artery,” Professor Duek-Cohen said.

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