Sunshine missing link
Sunshine missing link plugged

Work starts soon on the new path to link Sunshine and Sydenham.

The $1.3M project will start near Sunshine Station and extend to the existing off-road shared user path over Anderson Road that connects to Albion train station.

The new path will be grade-separated from traffic.

This means riders from Sydenham will be able to get to West Footscray in an off-road environment.

Brimbank Mayor Cr Margaret Giudice said: “This project will also create a safe cycling and walking route into the Sunshine CBD through a new signalised pedestrian and bike crossing at the Harvester and Devonshire roads, and a new zebra crossing near the Sunshine bus interchange.

“Active transportation connections, such as cycling and walking paths benefit individuals and our community – helping to enhance community wellbeing and create vibrant spaces where people feel safe and enjoy shopping.

“Research shows that people who walk or cycle to local centres visit more shops and invest more in local businesses than those who drive – so by supporting active transport we are also helping to boost our town centres,” Cr Giudice said.

As an additional safety improvement, speed limits along Harvester Road will be reduced from 60km/h down to 50km/h, with current 40km/h zones to remain in place.

North-bound traffic will be reduced to one lane along a 500 metre section of Harvester Road, from Hampshire Road and past Devonshire Road.

The $1.3 million contract will be jointly funded by Brimbank Council ($650,000) and the Transport Accident Commission and VicRoads ($650,000), through the Victorian Government's $100 million Safer Cyclists and Pedestrians Fund.

Work is expected to begin in April and finish in late 2018.

It has been a frustrating wait for this missing link to be connected.

The Sunshine Trail from West Footscray to Sunshine was built originally as a consequence of the Regional Rail Link project. But the section along Harvester Road was left out.

The RRL budget was raided to build a road in the middle of no-where near Ararat.

Design solutions have been sitting in filing cabinets for far too long, but now, finally, work is getting underway.

There is still one critical link missing in this corridor: the link from West Footscray to the Footscray Road bike path at the Maribyrnong River.

These plans too are gathering dust on a shelf due to successive governments slashing the VicRoads bike budget.

Then Roads Minister Tim Pallas announced the go ahead for the link in October 2010. Now Treasurer, Mr Pallas has no excuses left for not funding his own promise.

Even if it is eight years late, once committed, he must deliver.

When this link is built riders will have a continuous connection from Sydenham to the central city.