Launceston bridge links riverbanks for bicycles

A major new pedestrian and cycling bridge will be opened between Seaport and North Bank in Launceston this month.

The new bridge will provide quick access to the redeveloped North Bank area, which is set to be turned into an all ages recreational area by the end of 2018.

"Riverbend Park" will have new walking and cycling trails, an all abilities playground, bbqs, sensory garden, parkour site, a “sky walk”, and event spaces.

The North Bank area is having to be renamed because there is another North Bank in Trevallyn, so this week the council decided on a name change to Riverbend. Their recommendation will now go to the Nomenclature Board for approval.

Riverbend Park will be linked to the Inveresk Precinct by the existing levee path and new bicycle lanes being planned, most likely on Gleadow Street.

This means commuters to the Inveresk Precinct will be able to use the new bridge to bypass the tight squeeze on the Charles Street Bridge.

The Tasmanian Government promised during the state election that a new Charles Street Bridge will be built or the existing bridge widened, but it’s not known what sort of bicycle facilities it would have.

The government has what’s called a “positive provisioning” policy for cycling, which means it should incorporate cycling facilities into any new road project.

Cycling facilities on the Charles Street Bridge will be needed for people wanting more direct cycling routes than what the Seaport to Riverbend bridge can offer.

Bicycle Network recently made a submission to the council’s call for feedback on new bicycle lanes from Riverbend to the Inveresk Precinct.

The project to link the two areas provides an ideal opportunity for Launceston to build it’s first on-road separated lanes.