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On the right track?

Pedestrian and cyclist safety along the length of Hogans Road remains a priority for residents following council endorsement of a plan for a walking track as part of the Silverwoods development.

RACHEAL WILLETT July 29, 2014 2:47pm

The track within the development boundary provides for a track only part way along Hogans Road, leaving no pedestrian or cycling track along the remaining stretch of what residents say is a dangerous road and an accident waiting to happen.

At the June council meeting, an amended development plan for the Silverwoods project was approved by council, including the provision of a pedestrian track along the eastern boundary.

Acting Director of Development and Liveability Mark Foord said at the meeting there was no reason why the Silverwoods development shouldn’t include the provision of pedestrian and cycling access from the Murray Valley Highway to the foreshore and the plan provided for that link.

Yarrawonga Councillor Brian Keenan said the pedestrian and cycling link was a step in the right direction and a positive for local residents. His comments were endorsed by fellow Yarrawonga Councillor Don McPhee.

“The Hogans Road group delivered a great submission to the budget process and its clear this link is much needed for pedestrians and cyclists,” Cr McPhee said.

The 2014/2015 Moira Shire Council budget provides $15,000 for the investigation of a pedestrian/cycling track along Hogans Road.

Representatives of the community group behind the campaign for the track asked council to consider not only funding the investigation but also the construction of the track as a matter of urgency during a budget submission.

The group believes someone is in danger of being seriously hurt or injured as pedestrians and cyclists are forced to negotiate the precarious verge of the busy road.

Despite their plea, funding for construction was not added to the 2014/2015 budget before its adoption last month.

The track along the Silverwoods development eastern boundary extends from the Murray Valley Highway, along the left hand side of Hogans Road, to just past the adjacent Rosemary Court.

It then follows the property boundary, cutting inland, behind a series of residential blocks, then running parallel with Hogans Road, but some considerable distance away, until it reaches a foreshore access point.

Council’s Mr Foord confirmed the track did not run along the length of Hogans Road but reiterated it did provide a link from the Murray Valley Highway to the foreshore.

When questioned as to whether the $15,000 allocated in the council budget would still be used to investigate a track along the full length of Hogans Road Mr Foord said, “Council will continue discussion and planning to identify a suitable route.”

Bronwyn Nagle from the Hogans Road Community Group said, “whilst there have been some positive signs of progress, we remain concerned that considering development of a path through Silverwoods as the solution will not succeed in separating Hogans Road vehicle users from pedestrians and cyclists.

“Path users would still need to travel along the most dangerous sections of Hogans Road to get access through Silverwoods. Therefore this proposed solution does not address the ongoing safety issues in a satisfactory manner.”

Silverwoods Project Manager Daniel Smith said he anticipated meeting with representatives from Moira Shire Council in coming weeks to discuss the requirements for pedestrian access.

He said the placement and timing of construction of the track would be determined following discussion with council.

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