Darebin Yarra Bridge & Trail

Darebin Yarra Bridge & Trail

Darebin Yarra Bridge & TrailDarebin Bridge & Trail | When Darebin Bridge and extensions either side are complete, it will connect the Darebin Creek Trail to Melbourne's eastern cycling network, the Main Yarra Trail.

The proposed 1.8 kilometre route extension involves trail connections beneath the Heidelberg Road bridge to Sparks Reserve, into land that will be acquired from Alphington Grammar School and the LaTrobe Golf Club over a bridge (new) to Wilsmere Park in Kew and then onto the Main Yarra Trail [map].

Over the 17 years there have been numerous announcements. Below are some of the press releases and announcements, commencing with most recent to oldest.

In 2017: Great wall of Alphington: $18 million for new bike path that won't let locals in

An $18 million bike path running along river frontage in Ivanhoe, Alphington and Kew - built after more than two decades of campaigning by cyclists - is to be completely inaccessible by the main suburb it passes through. theage.com.au


June 2013 Planning Minister Matthew Guy has used his ministerial powers to approve a missing link of Melbourne's bike track network.

The government says the Darebin Creek Trail involves the construction of a 1.8 kilometre shared trail that will link Melbourne's six most popular bike trails by a bridge over the Yarra River, connecting the Darebin Creek Trail to Melbourne's eastern cycling network.

Bicycle Network Victoria has been campaigning for the connection for 17 years and last year the state government allocated $18 million to complete the project, including a route along the Darebin Creek and a new bridge across the Yarra.

All the local councils had extended planning permits, except for Boroondara council, where the Yarra bridge will bring the trail through Willsmere Park to connect with the Main Yarra Trail.

In April, the Boroondara council refused an extension, but last week Mr Guy used his ministerial powers to overrule the council and approve the project.

Mr Guy said the route had been marked in the Melways for 20 years and it was a crucial link to improve safety and access for cyclists.

'' Bicycle is trunk transport infrastructure . We need to ensure we have good bike paths as transport,'' Mr Guy said.

'' I respect the fact that there are differing views in Boroondara. But it is not a freeway, this is an important part of the cycling jigsaw .''

He said Boroondara's alternative connection plan would have required more land acquisition and the trail would have been more prone to flooding.

Bicycle Network Victoria had written to the government urging it to take action to assure the community that the project would go ahead. Spokesman Garry Brennan said the network welcomed the decision, which would '' unlock"a large amount of off-road trails to other paths.

As you will read below, a Snap Protest planned to highlight the issue of building the Darebin Bridge, but for an inexplicable reason, a rehash story by TheAge meant the protest did not happen.

On the Sunday 9 December morning (day of protest), we read an article in TheAge, written by Adam Carey where he says the Baillieu government had just committed to the project [Bridge breakthrough at zero hour] and therefore cyclist would not rally. Breakthrough my arse!

The Baillieu Government had already committed to the project back in August 2012 [Change of heart on bridge] but work would not start until next year (2013) and construction will take three years. Three years! What are we building, a road to the airport? It hasn't taken 3 years to build the Frankston Bypass.

Why does the saga of this bridge and connection to the Melbourne Bike Trail go on and on and on. Whats to say, if another Government gets in that they uncommit to the project, and we are all back to square one.

Victorians, and more specifically, bike riders of Melbourne you are being conned. This bridge will never be built because its all too damn hard.


Darebin link completes bike chain


Adam Carey | Sunday 9 December 2012 | theage.com.au

THE biggest gap in Melbourne's web of off-road bike paths will be joined, with the Baillieu government committing $18 million to connect the dead-end Darebin Creek trail to six other bike routes.

Cycling advocates who have fought for two decades to have the trail extended hailed the decision as a watershed moment for pedal-powered transport in Melbourne, which will make it easier for thousands of people to ride across the city.

The 1.8-kilometre extension will link the southern end of the Darebin Creek trail in Alphington with the main Yarra trail in Kew, ultimately connecting it to a 600-kilometre network of offroad trails through the suburbs.

Work on the path will begin next year and is expected to take three years to complete. It will require the construction of four bridges- a50-metre bridge across the Yarra River and three smaller bridges across Darebin Creek.

Cyclists who had planned to hold a rally on Sunday at the trail's end said they would instead gather to celebrate the long-sought breakthrough.

'' The decision to fire up the Darebin Bridge project is a great leap forward by the government,'' said Bicycle Network Victoria chief executive Craig Richards.

'' This decision is the culmination of a 17-year campaign by Bicycle Network and Melbourne bike riders and we expect this facility to become one of Melbourne's major attractions.''

Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the bike trail would be extended as part of the government's 10-year strategy to improve cycling opportunities , to be released next year.

The strategy, which is being written in response toa damning 2011 auditor-general's report into the fractured handling of Victoria's cycling strategy, will put cycling under the direction of a single authority.

'' The Darebin Creek trail is one of the key missing links in Melbourne's bike network and today's announcement will open up hundreds of kilometres of bike paths throughout Melbourne,'' Mr Guy said.

'' The new path will provide a more viable option to commute to work in the CBD and for children to travel across the river to school by bike.''

The new path will skirt Alphington Grammar, the Latrobe Golf Club and Kew Billabong.

The environmentally sensitive nature of the land it will cut through provoked strong community debate when the trail was originally planned several years ago. Opponents, including three local councils, sought to block its development in court. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ultimately granted Parks Victoria approval to build the trail in 2009.

Banyule councillor Tom Melican, a fervent, long-time supporter of the trail, said it would unlock access to the rest of Melbourne for riders living in the north-eastern suburbs.

'' By plugging this gap, it means you can virtually ride around Melbourne off-road non-stop . That's how important it is,'' Cr Melican said.

Snap Protest: Darebin Bridge Rally


When: 10am Sunday 9 December 2012
Where: Sparks Reserve, Ivanhoe | bicyclenetwork.com.au

We need your help to get the government moving faster on the Darebin Bridge project.

Join us and other community groups that care and support the development of the crucial Darebin Bridge link at a rally this Sunday.

Why: Now is time for us to send a clear message to the Government that we are tired of waiting years for this short, missing link to be completed. Building the Darebin Bridge will link six of Melbourne's most popular trails and give easy access to hundreds of kilometres of popular bike paths throughout the metropolitan area. Your participation will build a bridge of support for this venture. It is time to fund and build the Darebin Bridge link.
We look forward to seeing you at the rally on Sunday.

Darebin Bridge


Change of heart on bridge

Cyclist will have to wait at least another three years (2013) before they can ride across a bridge connecting Darebin Creek and the Main Yarra Trail.

9 December 2012. The State Government has launched a new pro-bike agenda with the announcement today that funding is fully committed to the Darebin Bridge project and that work will start next year.

Construction will take three years. Cyclist will have to wait at least another three years (2013) before they can ride across a bridge connecting Darebin Creek and the Main Yarra Trail.

Darebin cyclists frustrated


7 April 2010 | Leader

Last August, bike riders celebrated Victoria's planning tribunal decision allowing Parks Victoria to complete the long-awaited missing link over the Yarra but they have become increasingly frustrated, seeing no sign of the project starting.

Alphington cyclist James Thyer, from the Community Coalition for the Darebin to Yarra Link Trail, said he and other members were disappointed there had not been updates from Parks Victoria after the August decision.

'It's disconcerting that there's been no activity on the ground and no information,' Mr Thyer said.

After more than a decade lobbying for the crucial link in 600km of off-road trails across Melbourne, cyclists told the Leader they were tired of waiting.

'Heaps of children from Alphington go to Kew High and they'd be able to ride across in no time,' Mr Thyer said.

'As it is now, they have to catch buses and trains and it takes longer to get to Kew than it does to the city.'

Last week, Parks Victoria spokeswoman Cheryl Nagel gave cyclists and other trail users little hope for a speedy outcome.

'Cyclists will be able to ride along that part of the trail once construction of the stage from Sparks Reserve to Willsmere Park is complete ... in three years,' she said.

'The project remains complex, traversing three councils (Darebin, Banyule and Boroondara) and requiring land purchases.'

Ms Nagel said work would begin on the section of the trail between Heidelberg Rd and Sparks Reserve later this year.

Northcote State Labor MP Fiona Richardson asked Environment Minister Gavin Jennings in Parliament last week to fast-track the project.

'After raising the issue in Parliament, I was advised by the Minister that Parks Victoria intends to make the link between Sparks Reserve and the current terminus of the Darebin Trial their number one priority,' Ms Richardson said.

In October 2009, Darebin Council was been awarded $96,500 from the Federal Government towards the construction of a shared path from the Darebin Creek Trail to Bundoora Park in Bundoora.

The path system will increase accessibility for those on foot or cycling to Bundoora Park which already boasts many attractions including a Visitor Centre, Golf Course, Children's Farm, Heritage Village and other recreational opportunities.

The project will construct a 320 metre concrete shared path through Bundoora Park and connects to the internal road network of Bundoora Park. An asphalt surface will also be laid on the existing 500 metre gravel track, which interconnects to the internal path system of Bundoora Park.

In the near future, new sections of path in Banyule and Yarra will connect the Darebin Creek Trail in the south to the main Yarra Trail.

For more information about Bundoora Park, phone 8470 8170 or go to Bundoora Park.


In 7 August 2009 the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) approved the issuing of permits for the Lower Darebin Trail and associated bridge over the Yarra.

Finally there will be a connection from Heidelberg Road in Alphington through to Willsmere Park, connecting with the Main Yarra Trail in Kew.

When constructed in several years' time the trail will open up a vastly improved route and attract a new generation of riders to the pleasures of riding Melbourne's creek and river environments.

The proposed 1.8 kilometre route involves trail connections beneath the Heidelberg Road bridge to Sparks Reserve, into land that will be acquired from Alphington Grammar School and the LaTrobe Golf Club (between which the path would pass across the Creek and across the flats of the Napier Waller Reserve), and across the Yarra River into Willsmere Park (between the Billabong and sports fields).

The main trail would be three metres wide with landscaping, boardwalks, three bridges across the Darebin Creek and one across the Yarra River, drownout areas, safety barriers/flood activated gates, emergency access, various forms of fencing and a fish ladder.

Build Darebin Bridge

Hooray!


Tribunal rules for Darebin Bridge go-ahead

7 August 2009 | The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) approved the issuing of permits for the Lower Darebin Trail and associated bridge over the Yarra.

Finally there will be a connection from Heidelberg Road in Alphington through to Willsmere Park, connecting with the Main Yarra Trail in Kew.

When constructed in several years' time the trail will open up a vastly improved route and attract a new generation of riders to the pleasures of riding Melbourne's creek and river environments. Why its going to take several years' is anyones guess, but at least one day our kids will get to ride it.

The VCAT decision brings to an end a multi-year wrestle with an ill-informed and bloody-minded group of opponents.

According to VCAT: "The permit applications are the culmination of many years of work and, we find, represent well considered, sensitive and thorough concept and revegetation plans.

"The construction of a connection between the Darebin Creek Trail and the Main Yarra River Trail is eagerly awaited by many and enjoys overwhelming policy and strategic support at State and local government levels.

"Arguments raised by the proposal's opponents are not grounds upon which any of the planning permits for the trail should be rejected. Importantly, changes that have emerged through these proceedings have resolved a long standing impasse with respect to the LaTrobe Golf Club land.

"Overall, there will be a clear net community benefit by granting all three planning permits. Detailed design and management can address the few outstanding issues."

The proposed 1.8 kilometre route involves trail connections beneath the Heidelberg Road bridge to Sparks Reserve, into land that will be acquired from Alphington Grammar School and the LaTrobe Golf Club (between which the path would pass across the Creek and across the flats of the Napier Waller Reserve), and across the Yarra River into Willsmere Park (between the Billabong and sports fields).

The main trail would be three metres wide with landscaping, boardwalks, three bridges across the Darebin Creek and one across the Yarra River, drownout areas, safety barriers/flood activated gates, emergency access, various forms of fencing and a fish ladder.

Bicycle Victoria CEO Harry Barber said the victory showed what strong and unswerving commitment from members could achieve.

"This was one of our biggest campaigns and the members never wavered despite the many setbacks and delays. The day that bridge opens will be one of the proudest in our history".

Parks Victoria applied for planning permits to three Councils-the Cities of Banyule, Boroondara and Yarra in August 2007 to complete the missing link. All three permits were subsequently referred to VCAT by Parks Victoria.

'This is a fantastic and long anticipated outcome for local communities, and walkers and cyclists more broadly' said Cheryl Nagel, Manager Visitor Experiences for Parks Victoria.

'Once the trail is constructed, people will be able to walk, cycle or roller-blade on an easy gradient, sealed, off-road path alongside the Darebin creek and over the Yarra River to access the area's beautiful parks, or to join the network of trails both to the north and south".

'We would like to acknowledge the willingness of the three Councils - Banyule, Boroondara and Yarra - to work with us to achieve this outcome.'

'Importantly we commend both Latrobe Golf Club and Alphington Grammar school for agreeing to sell to the State Government the land necessary to allow the final link in this trail to be achieved. This demonstrates substantial goodwill to the communities'.

In February 2009 Darebin Council completed works at Darebin Road to connect two sections of the Darebin Creek path underneath Darebin Road. Put simply, the path here is fantastic. What used to be a ride through the back streets to join back with the trail is now a swish, whizz bang connected trail.


Parks Victoria will now develop the detailed designs for the trail construction and arrange for the purchase of the required land, and then construct the trail.

The section to link the current end of the Darebin Trail, under Heidelberg road to Sparks Reserve in Ivanhoe will be the first part of the trail constructed. .

The long overdue Darebin Bridge is reaching the final stage with Parks Victoria transferring planning authority for the proposed path to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The Darebin Bridge is the missing bicycle link between the Darebin Creek trail and the Main Yarra Trail.

Some Boroondara residents and the Mayor don't recognise that the bridge and trail avoids all ecologically sensitive areas (see update below).

What you can do?


1. Tell your friends and get a map.
Drop into Bicycle Victoria at Level 10, 446 Collins St, Melbourne
Send a stamped self-addressed envelope to PO Box 426 Collins St West 8007
Visit one of the bike stores stocking the map: Web links below:
Ivanhoe Cycles - Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe - 9450-5222
Lawrencia Cycles, Glenferrie Road, Hawthron
Melbourne Bicycle Centre - Queens Parade, Clifton Hill
Rays Bicycle Centre - Balwyn Road, North Balwyn
Top Gear - Doncaster Rd, Greythorn
Bicycle HQ - 1030 Dandenong Rd, Carnegie - 9572 9222

2. Have a look at where the bridge will land (Melways 45 F1)

:: Darebin Bridge Overview Map - with key points.
:: Google Map
:: Google Satellite Map

3. Write a letter of support to your Mayor and Councillors
Boroondara Council needs to know you want the bridge. Please show your support for the bridge by emailing the Boroondara councilors. Feb 07. The Mayor, Phillip Healey, has been speaking against the bridge in the local papers.

Click here to email the Boroondara Mayor and Councilors. Please say if you live in Boroondara and remember to keep it positive, grumpy emails turn Councilors off.

4. Write a letter of support to Minister Thwaites and your local MPs

Write to the Hon John Thwaites, Deputy Premier and Minister for Environment, Water and Climate Change. Minister Thwaites has responsibility for Parks Victoria and has been a long time supporter of the project since his involvement as Planning Minister a number of years ago.

Northcote - Fiona Richardson MP is proving to be a strong supporter of the trail.
Ivanhoe - Craig Langdon MP.
Kew - Andrew McIntosh MP.

5. Write a letter to your local paper

Write to the Yarra Leader, Northcote Leader, Preston Leader, Heidelberg Leader, Progress Leader (Boroondara), Melbourne Times, Heidelberg and Valley Weekly

Bike path faces tortured route to transport link


Source: Bike path faces tortured route to transport link
Stephen Moynihan
The Age - July 21, 2007

IT HAS been dubbed "the bridge at the centre of the universe". For almost a decade it's been a missing link in Melbourne's transport network. But opponents of the multimillion-dollar project say it will endanger students and damage a fragile ecosystem.

The project is a humble bike path.

PARKS VICTORIA


Parks Victoria have correctly identified it as a high priority project as it is listed as a short term priority in Linking People and Spaces (2002) and closes a critical missing gap in an existing trail. The Metropolitan Trail Network Guidelines oultine eligibility and priorites for Parks Victoria funding.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT


Parks Victoria are the key to building the Darebin Bridge. Parks Victoria [Richard O'Byrne] can remain neutral in reaching a mutual agreement between the councils, school and golf club.

FINAL ISSUES


Alphington Grammar [Manuel Pappos] - a secure fence would be needed although
Parks Victoria say because the area is a flood plain, there are restrictions on the type of fence.

Latrobe Golf Course [Rob Haynes] - fence needed to protect cyclists.

City of Boroondara Mayor [Phillip Healy] - concern centres around a one-in-100-year flood and a dog-walking park.

Come on Parks Victoria, resolve the issues with the school and golf club (its only a fence) and then the people will speak for the Boroondara Mayor.

UPDATE


Tribunal poised to act on bike paths' missing link - The Age June 14, 2008

Fed up with decades of argy-bargy by the Yarra, Boroondara and Banyule councils, Parks Victoria last week transferred planning authority for the proposed path from the councils to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Boroondara Council will vote on Monday night on its position on the planning transfer.

The three-metre-wide path would cost $4 million, and include five river crossings, including a bridge over the Yarra.

Bicycle Victoria, which first called for the path to be built in 1989, calls it "the missing link"in Melbourne's bike trail network. The proposed path runs around Alphington Grammar and through Latrobe golf course before crossing the Yarra and skirting a small billabong in Kew.

Opposition has come from the grammar school and the golf club, where land could be compulsorily acquired for the path. Resident groups in Kew also opposed it, saying cyclists would damage local parks. Lobbyists predict that about 4000 cyclists a day would use the path.

Alphington local Anthony Jones can't wait until it's built. His two boys now ride to Kew High School but to get there they must cross busy roads.

Their ride to school would be much simpler and safer if the Darebin Creek bike path, which now ends abruptly, continued on to join the Yarra trail. "My boys haven't been hit (on their bikes) yet, but another boy was a few weeks ago,"Mr Jones said.

Latrobe Golf Club general manager Rod Haines wants Parks Victoria to select another route, not one that runs through the golf course. He said it was unclear who would bear liability if cyclists were hit by golf balls, or golfers were hit by cyclists.

Over the Yarra River in Kew, the path would divide a popular dog-walking circuit. The land, farmed until 1944, has been rehabilitated, with massive effort gone into restoring a pre-settlement billabong.

The Friends of Willsmere Park and Kew Billabong said the bridge that would carry cyclists across the Yarra into Kew would hurt wildlife and ruin the billabong.

"(The bridge) is going to be an enormous concrete and steel structure that will intrude 80 metres into the park on either side,"said spokesman Tony Michael. "It is not a dainty little bridge - I'm calling it our West Gate."

In all, 63 trees would be removed to make the bike path. "They want to turn this into a bicycle commuter freeway."

Mr Michael cited a Boroondara Council report that said cyclists would erode the riverbank, destroy vegetation and scare off native animals. His group also wants the path to take a different route.

Bicycle Victoria said alternative routes were unacceptable because they were on roads.

Melbourne has more than 600 kilometres of off-road bicycle paths, and the bicycle group said similar arguments were thrown up against routes now considered successful and popular.

"We faced the same thing at the Collingwood Children's Farm,"said Bicycle Victoria general manager Harry Barber. "The needs of the many are being put against the desires of the few,"he said, and after the Darebin path was built "people will wonder how we ever did without it".

The planning tribunal's decision is expected at year's end.

Have your say! Write to Willsmere Park & Kew Billabong Friends Group at info@fowpkc.org and let them know your point of view.

❊ Address & Contact ❊


Darebin Yarra Bridge & Trail⊜ Sparks Reserve, Ivanhoe | Map
Sparks Reserve, Ivanhoe

❊ Web Links ❊


Darebin Yarra Bridge & Trail 

Friends of Willsmere Park & Kew Billabong - fowpkb.org

Darebin Bicycle User Group Inc

Tell your friends and order some maps

Darebin Creek Trail - onlymelbourne.com.au

Banyule Council

Boroondara Council

Darebin Council

Yarra Council

Darebin Creek Trail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friends of Darebin Creek

City of Boroondara's shared pathways [showing path to Darebin Creek]

Linking People and Spaces (2002) - Parks Victoria

Parks Victoria Map pointing to link...

Boroondarah Parks Map

Updated Management Plan [pdf] boroondara.vic.gov.au

Bike path faces tortured route to transport link - The Age

Bicycle Network

www.facebook.com/YarraCampaign

2017 - Great wall of Alphington


❊ Also See... ❊


Darebin Bicycle User Group

Darebin Creek Trail

Summerhill Bridge | Darebin Creek








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