Rail Trail Update
Active Travel Plan funding announced
Wagga Rail Trail Inc. is excited to hear that the NSW Government has offered Wagga Wagga City Council $11.7 million for implementation of its Active Travel Plan. It is a project that will transform our city.
More than 40km of shared trail will be constructed under the Plan including a trail between the CBD and Forest Hill, which is the proposed first stage of the Wagga Rail Trail.
The Active Travel Plan is very much about getting people outdoors and active, strongly aligning with the principles of the Wagga Rail Trail.
This is about giving people an opportunity to choose a more active, healthy lifestyle by leaving the car at home and choosing to walk or cycle instead.
One of the principles of the Wagga Rail Trail is to create more connections between the CBD and the eastern suburbs and that’s exactly what the Active Travel Plan will do but on a wider scale.
When implemented, the plan will create a physical trail link between suburbs and activate social connection as families enjoy using the trail together.
The network of shared pathways will be separated from traffic and used by people for a range of purposes including commuting, fitness and recreation, participation in trail events and will also appeal to visitors who want to explore our City.
The Wagga community has consistently demonstrated its overwhelming support for this kind of trail. Local people really want to see this happen and we commend the NSW Government for making Active Travel a priority in regional NSW.
WWCC has commenced planning work on the project, with design and construction slated to commence in the second half of 2018. The full network is due to be completed by June 2020.
Once Council has finalised the proposed routes it will consult with the community on these and we encourage members to contribute their feedback in this process.
The pathways will help make Wagga more vibrant, more connected and more liveable and Wagga Rail Trail Inc. looks forward to seeing Wagga Wagga City Council bring the project to fruition.
Olympian backs Wagga Rail Trail initiative
Olympian, World Champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Brad Kahlefeldt knows the value of a safe place to train.
That’s why the career triathlete has lent his support to the Wagga Rail Trail initiative. In his role as Wagga Rail Trail Ambassador, Brad shared his inspiring story in an invitation-only event for Rail Trail crowdfunding supporters in late January.
Growing up part of an active Wagga family, Brad progressed from Little Athletics to fun runs and eventually to triathlons, representing Australia at the Beijing and London Olympics and at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Brad is now based in Noosa with wife and fellow professional athlete, Radka, and baby daughter Ruby, who was born in Wagga Wagga in early January. He says that having been a triathlete for more than 20 years, he still loves to compete.
“Close to 90% of my training is done outdoors – it’s long course triathlon so there are a lot of kilometres to cover. It’s the best way to see results.”
“Not a ride goes by that you almost feel you could be clipped by the cars going past you at 100kms an hour.”
“It can be quite dangerous out there. One of my mates, Luke Harrop, was killed when he was struck by a car on the Gold Coast when I was just a junior and I know that a number of other triathletes and cyclists have been killed recently in traffic around Australia and overseas.”
“I think it’s crucial that we do have a safe place to ride, especially for the kids coming up. You really enjoy it when you have the opportunity to get outside and run or ride traffic-free.”
So strong is Brad’s support of safe places to exercise, he has jumped on board as Wagga Rail Trail Ambassador to help see the initiative come to life in his hometown.
“To have somewhere for runners and cyclists and families to get outside and exercise where it’s safe is important for Wagga. I support it 100% and think it will be a huge asset for the city.”
“The athletic lifestyle was easy growing up in Wagga and when I make it back a few times a year, I find it very easy to slot back into life and training here.”
“We’ve got a big family and when everyone’s back we all exercise together. If there’s a new track out there, I’m sure we’ll all get out there and use it. I look forward to that day.”