War erupts over cycleway

A PLANNED coastal cycleway at Evans Head has run into an unusual barrier - a bombing range.

The NSW Coastline Cycleway project, to be jointly funded by state and local government, appeared to be great idea on paper, but the project has hit a pothole.

Richmond Valley Council claims the State Government is too stubborn to yield to commonsense alternatives.

According to council's strategic planner Ray Medhurst the route runs south from Evans Head through land leased by the Department of Defence and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Both bodies have told Mr Medhurst they would not permit public access through the sensitive land, but NSW Planning is adamant the route proceed as planned or not at all.

“Drawing a line on paper is real easy,” Mr Medhurst said.

Mr Medhurst said he believed residents would benefit more from a cycleway between Evans Head and Woodburn, tying the separate communities of Wallum Drive, Riverside Village and Doonbah with the larger centres of Evans Head and Woodburn.

Richmond Valley Council wrote to NSW Planning asking that the bike route deviate.

No go, was NSW Planning's reply - unless a further study was carried out by the local council at a cost of $50,000.

That suggestion was rejected by the council.

“NSW Planning is our brick wall,” Mr Medhurst said.

“And knowing how negative they are I couldn't justify the $50,000 on another study if they are likely to just say no.”

The cycleway continues, albeit slowly. The State Government has contributed $273,500 towards a bike path which will head north from Evans Head along Beech Street towards Broadwater with its current terminus the town tip.

WOULD YOU COMMUTE ON A COASTAL CYCLEWAY? Phone 6624 3266 or SMS 0428 264 948

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