Bonnet Hill widening wins tick of approval

We received a letter today from the Bonnet Hill Community Association thanking Bicycle Network and Cycling South for the all work that went into getting funding and support for the widening of Channel Highway through Bonnet Hill.

The state government has now finished all widening work along the stretch of highway, resulting in a more comfortable uphill ride and easier driving.

The letter is also addressed to Tasmania's "cycling fraternity". so here it is in full for your interest.

May 17 2019

Completion of Safety Lane over Bonnet Hill

To all members of the ‘Cycling fraternity’ in Southern Tas,

Following the recent successful completion of the Safety Lane over Bonnet Hill, I am writing this letter on behalf of the members and supporters of the Bonnet Hill Community Association (BHCA) to thank all members of the ‘cycling fraternity’ generally and to three people specifically for their support of the project.

As you will remember, four years ago the BHCA, together with the Kingborough Bicycle Advisory Committee (KBAC) and the Kingborough Council, lobbied the Government to allocate the funds necessary to build the Safety Lane to reduce the considerable risk caused by cyclists using the uphill sections on the narrow, originally convict-built road. After tabling a petition with 6000 signatures in 2014 and holding a community gathering to demonstrate the public support for the project in February 2015, all involved were delighted to hear in June 2015 the Government’s announcement that the project would go ahead.

BHCA members and supporters particularly wish to thank Rob Sheers, Emma Pharo and Mary McParland for the specific support that they gave to the Project from its earliest stages in 2013/14.

As a member of KBAC in 2012, Rob had been successful in convincing Dept State Growth to construct the first stage of the Safety Lane from Browns Road to Proctors Road. The completion of this stage in 2013 demonstrated to BHCA members what could be achieved for all users of the road and so a close working relationship with Rob was established that still exists today. Rob’s ongoing commitment to the project never wavered and throughout the four years of construction he was instrumental in working with DSG at every stage to ensure the best outcomes for all, including cyclists of course!

Mary and Emma both made time to meet with BHCA members on several occasions to discuss the proposal in its earliest stages and the advice they offered from the cycling organisations’ point of view was much appreciated and was incorporated in to the BHCA’s planning when lobbying the Government in 2014 and 2015.

In late 2014 Emma became part of Bonnet Hill Safety Lane Action Group and her assistance in helping to organise the important Community BBQ on the ‘top of the Bonnet’ in Feb 2015 was greatly appreciated.

Many other members of the ‘cycling fraternity’ also assisted that day and BHCA members were very appreciative of the significant number of cyclists who ultimately attended.

At this event support for the construction of the Safety Lane was clearly demonstrated to the Government and it became a significant factor in the Government’s decision in June 2015 to allocate the funds for the project. As a result, we know that every day Bonnet Hill residents and all users of the Channel Highway, including cyclists, trucks, buses, other vehicles and pedestrians now enjoy travelling a much safer road between Kingston and Taroona.

Thank you to all in the ‘cycling fraternity’ for helping to make the Safety Lane become a reality.

Yours sincerely

Rae Wells
BHCA, Secretary

Paul Rapley
BHCA, President