Midland Highway upgrade plans includes cycle way

Questions about the proposed cycle way along the Midland Highway and onto Illawarra Road were answered at last week’s public hearing

Residents questioned why the cycleway would end at Pateena Road and whether it was safe to have next to a highway. 

Department of State Growth’s project director Ted Ross said the cycle way had been developed in partnership with the Northern Midlands Council. 

But the council’s deputy mayor Richard Goss said there were no plans to extend the cycleway into Longford and further along Illawarra Road yet. 

“What State Growth told us was that when they complete the Midland Highway road then they’re going to look at doing Illawarra Road, the road that goes through Perth under the Bass Highway and through to Carrick, because that has been upgraded to a national highway,” he said. 

“So when they do that I would be suggesting that they put in a cycleway on the side of that road and I’m sure council will be pushing for that as well. 

“But the plans are still proposed at the moment, they’re still in draft form. The cycleway hasn’t been locked in, it’s still being costed.” 

Cr Goss said the new cycleway wouldn’t be alongside the highway, but instead would use the old road. 

“The proposed plans are to hook up from the Flying Mile (Illawarra Road) and hook up to the Breadalbane roundabout, it should follow the old road,” he said 

“It’s going on a cyclepath underneath the highway and up the old highway.”

A lot of cyclists travel alongside trucks on the Illawarra Road to go between Longford and Perth, with Cr Goss saying a cycleway would make it safer for everyone. 

“If it goes along the proposed route it will be much safer and much more enjoyable because it’ll be more family friendly,” he said. 

The public hearing was held last Thursday, where a number of concerned residents spoke up against the changes to stage two of the bypass.

A State Growth spokesman said he expected the plans would be put to the council at its next meeting. 

Clearing works for stage two are expected to start in 2018.