Above: some sections of the proposed shared pathway. Download the full PDF image.
Ballina Shire Council last week received preliminary advice from the Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) that it will fund 100% of one part of the proposed shared pathway between Ballina and Lennox Head.
The part in question has been identified by Council as Section A, parts 1 and 2, which run from the intersection of Headlands Drive and Skennars Head Road to Henderson Drive, and then from Henderson Drive to Tara Downs. The cost of this has been estimated at $840,000, and all of it will now come from RMS.
According to Council’s documentation ‘Section A provides connectivity for the largest growth areas of Lennox Head, being the Pacific Pines Estate and also removes a current deficiency where many local residents are not able to ride on a shared path to access the schools, beaches and sports fields at Skennars Head.’
However, this does not solve the complex issues and community debate that still surround the rest of the route.
Still very much at the centre of the debate is Section B, which runs on the eastern side of the Coast Road and connects Angels Beach to Sharpes Beach. This section has strong support from some sections of the community and last Tuesday it was given priority by Council’s Finance Committee as the next section of the route to be constructed.
But according to Councillor Keith Williams there are other parts of the western sections that should be given priority.
‘It is a matter of need versus want. They want the walkway along the coast, but we need safe paths for our children to get to school and sporting fields,’ he says.
Cr Sue Meehan, on the other hand, puts it like this: ‘We now have funding for both these important sections of the shared pathway, so the way I see it, it’s a win-win situation.’
According to Council’s Engineering Works Manager Paul Busmanis, there are several sections of the pathway that may be successful in attracting grants from RMS. ‘The success with this round of funding is welcome, and Council will continue with applications for funding for the shared path routes under the RMS cycleways program,’ he says.
More information can be found here on the Ballina Shire Council website.