Bicycle users call for bipartisan support for proposed North East Bike Link

Progress Leader: Bicycle users call for bipartisan support for proposed North East Bike Link. Harrison Tippet. 15 October 2014

Boroondara Bicycle Users Group says the proposed North East Bike Link should be built regardless of whether the East West Link goes ahead.

A long-running campaign for a bike path linking the northeast suburbs with the city has been given a $70 million green flag by the State Government.

Premier Denis Napthine this month announced the new 3km path, to be built alongside the controversial East West Link.

And the Boroondara Bicycle Users Group is calling for bipartisan support for the path, regardless of who wins the state election in November and whether the East West Link is built.

Dr Napthine said the North East Bike Link — a path and two footbridges linking the north east suburbs and the city — would be the centrepiece of the East West Link’s pedestrian and cyclist developments.

“It (the link) will provide a shorter, safer and more pleasant ride, cutting 10 minutes and 1km from the current trip,” Dr Napthine said.

After years of calling for a better bike path alongside the Eastern Freeway, the Boroondara Bicycle Users Group (BBUG) welcomed the announcement, which closely follows the model of its proposed North East ­Bicycle Corridor.

BBUG spokesman John Parker said the group ­wanted to continue to work with the Government as more detailed plans for the path were developed.

“We hope to work with the relevant authorities to achieve a great outcome along what we proposed,” Mr Parker said.

“I’m sure that anything that initially doesn’t appear appropriate can be overcome. We don’t want to see any steep climbs on the route and we’d like to see it as direct and as straight as possible.”

Mr Parker said BBUG had approached all state political parties to discuss the link, with the aim of ensuring it will be built even if the Coalition loses the ­November 29 election.

State Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews has vowed to scrap the East West Link if Labor wins the election.

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