Living north of the river

Launceston Council has embarked on a project to improve the northern suburbs with transport, public spaces and health in its sights.

The council intends to develop a plan that will improve living, working and recreational conditions in the suburbs of Invermay, Mowbray, Newnham, Mayfield, Rocherlea, Ravenswood and Waverley.

As part of the plan, the council is now asking the community to come forward with ideas in the areas of:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Housing
  • Transport
  • Infrastructure and Public Spaces.

To get the conversation started the council has put “talking points” up on its Your Voice website.

It’s asking people to respond to the talking points and add their own ideas.

Surprisingly, none of the talking points address the benefits of cycling in improving health outcomes and providing a low-cost, convenient transport option.

Most of the northern suburbs sit within 10km of the city centre and the majority have reasonably flat terrain. The golden rule of thumb is that people don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes travelling for work, study or services and 10km is a standard 30 minute ride.

Making it easier to ride a bike for transport and recreational benefits should be a no-brainer for the project.

One of the key trails linking the northern suburbs to the city is the Rocherlea to Inveresk path, but it has a gap. If the missing link was built around the Mowbray racecourse it would complete the off-road path, giving northern suburbs residents a speedy, cheap and healthy way to get to the city.

Within the northern suburbs there is also scope for building and improving linkages between separated on-road and off-road cycleways to make it easier to get to schools, TAFE, university, workplaces, shops and other services.

People living in and near our cities shouldn’t be forced to buy a car just to get around, the density of population and services should mean walking, riding and public transport are viable options. There should be a network of separated cycleways so anyone, regardless of age and ability, can ride a bike and not fear for their safety.