Cyclists embrace new Forest Road path

As the Forest Road Cycle Path project nears completion, there are already estimates of a two- to three-fold increase in visitors to the Tamworth Mountain Bike Park.

The Project, undertaken by Council with a budget of $593,533, features construction of cycle path from Monteray Street to the Tamworth Mountain Bike Park, road widening and drainage of the north side of the Reeves Bridge, construction of pedestrian refuges and road crossing, guard rail and flashing warning signs. There are also solar lights to be installed in the next couple of weeks to complete the project.

“By providing a safe and accessible cycle way link from town all the way to the Mountain Bike Park we aim to encourage healthy activities such as cycling, walking and jogging as an alternative to driving to the Park,” Mayor, Col Murray, said.

“This segment of path is also another vital piece in the greater strategic plans of developing a large cycle network that will cover most of Tamworth, as outlined in Blueprint 100.”

The Forest Road project was funded with $478,533 from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund with a further contribution by Council of $115,000.

“Before this crossing was installed, users had to cross two lanes of busy traffic travelling at high speeds in no set location. It was quite unsafe and unnerving for inexperienced users to be able to get to the Tamworth Mountain Bike Park on foot or by bike.

“This crossing will allow pedestrians to only have to cross one lane of traffic at a time in a highly visible location with significant safety refuges, barriers, signage and lighting at night promoting visibility of pedestrians while providing the advantage of no reduction in the 80km/hr speed limit for motorists,” Cr Murray said.

“The Mountain Bike Park has become a popular spot for people just wanting to get outdoors. In addition to the terrific bike tracks, there are walking trails with signs and QR codes delivering information about landmarks and features of the area. It has the opportunity to be an attractive tourism attraction for active people visiting the region.”

For the Tamworth Mountain Bike Park users it’s a welcome addition to its plans for the Park’s future as it enables individuals and families to ride or walk to the Park on a safe path and increase Park visitors.

“The cycle path fits in long-term plans and vision to make sure the Park is inclusive for all people interested in outdoor recreation activities,” Jeff Benson of Tamworth Mountain Bike Park said.

“We believe it will encourage families with young children to ride to our Park to enjoy our facilities. It will also bring walking/running enthusiasts to the Park as an alternative to the [Oxley] Lookout because of the views and informative signage we have in place on the walking tracks.”

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