Built after more than two decades of campaigning by residents and cyclists, the Darebin Yarra Trail is to be completed by the end of the year. Locals aren’t happy about the planned finished product, though.
The path – which runs from Ivanhoe, crosses the Darebin Creek into Alphington, and passes the Yarra River into Kew – will have five new bridges. But, as it stands now, the path has no entry or exit points inside Alphington, the suburb most of the path runs through. Without that exit/entry, cyclists, pedestrians and school kids will need to travel busy Heidelberg Road to access Alphington. The trail was, among other things, designed to help riders and walkers avoid that main road.
The section of the route that passes through Alphington will be completely barricaded because the Latrobe Golf Club and Alphington Grammar School, located right next to the path, are concerned about cyclists and pedestrians coming onto their property.
Parts of the bike trail between Alphington Grammar and Darebin have already been fenced off. A similar fence will separate Latrobe Golf Club from the trail.
VicRoads is supervising the construction of the Darebin Yarra Trail.
Locals are unhappy because VicRoads is not implementing entry and exit points to the path even though it used public money to buy a hectare of land from Latrobe Golf Club.
Initial plans for the trail, agreed by Parks Victoria in 2009, included an exit/entry point to the path at the golf club.
VicRoads is supportive of a public access from the City of Yarra via Farm Road to the trail, however both the LaTrobe Golf Club and Alphington Grammar School have had previous concerns.
"We haven’t yet been able to reach an agreement with the golf club on local access to the bike path but we will continue to work with them in an effort to reach a resolution. We have been advised that when Parks Victoria was managing the project, a number of options were explored but none of the options were acceptable to all parties."
VicRoads is pushing ahead with delivering a link and support a local access where possible.