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‘Pedal power’ gathering momentum in City of Newcastle

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City of Newcastle’s strategy to embrace “pedal power” in the Hunter is gathering momentum.

In the past month, the completion of the Merewether shared path follows the delivery of separated cycleways on Hunter Street.

Community feedback’s been sought on potential tracks at Mayfield, too. 

Council is also in the process of enhancing shared pathways on University Drive at Birmingham Gardens, as well as improvements on similar thoroughfares at Warabrook Wetlands.  

Now, the City’s network has received a boost with works finalising on a 1.1km shared path along Watkins Street, Merewether, linking Glebe Road, The Junction, with Merewether Beach.  

The 2.5m-wide venture is the first stage of the City Centre to Merewether Cycleway project and features new and upgraded crossings.

The $3.1 million development was brought forward last year after receiving a funding injection under Newcastle’s COVID-19 stimulus capital works budget.

The NSW Government also committed $600,000 via the 2020/21 Walking and Cycling Program.   

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the delivery of this significant cycleway project demonstrated council’s commitment to cementing Newcastle’s reputation as a cycling and pedestrian-friendly city.  

“We’re keen to promote and encourage active transport options,” she explained.

“Improved cycleways are a top priority for our community and I know this new link will be enjoyed by residents, commuters, students travelling to the nearby schools and those visiting this beautiful part of Newcastle.   

“We’ll now start planning for the second stage between the CBD and The Junction as part of the overall City Centre to Merewether Cycleway.” 

Councillor John Mackenzie said it was clear that improving safety had been a key goal of everyone involved in the plan.  

“Enhancing safety has been a focus of the project and the raised crossings and wide path will provide both pedestrians and cyclists with a safe passage across what can be a busy road,” he added.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin MLC said the NSW Government was helping people who want to walk and cycle as part of their everyday commute and supporting an active and healthy lifestyle, while also assisting to relieve congestion on the roads and public transport.  

“This is one of 32 active transport projects across the state, including 16 in regional areas that are being delivered over the next 12 months,” he stated.

To find out more information about cycleways and shared paths in Newcastle, visit www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/cycleways

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