Work is expected to begin soon on a vital but missing link in the Mornington Peninsula Trail.
A $3M funding grant from the Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund has given long-hoped-for momentum to the plan for completion of the ambitious 100km trail through the scenic rural playground to Melbourne’s south.
Combined with a previous promise of $2M from the Federal Government, and a multi-year funding undertaking by Mornington Shire, the proposed shared path link between Sommerville and Baxter nnow has the financial backing to allow work to get rolling
This missing link will allow riders to travel off-road from the centre of Melbourne all the way to Balnarring.
The new path will run alongside the Stony Point rail line, connecting to the Peninsula Link Trail at the northern end, and an existing path from Somerville to Balnarring via Somers at its southern end.
Much of the Peninsula Trail network is already in place. To complete the remaining ‘missing links’, Mornington Shire has committed a total of $10 million to the $50 million project and is seeking further State and Federal support.
Mayor Mayor Anthony Marsh said: “I thank the State Government for supporting Council’s vision for a world-class cycling and walking trail.”
“After two years of restrictions, our tourism and hospitality sectors badly need an economic boost and we’ve identified the Peninsula Trail as a key project to promote tourism and create jobs.”
“It has the potential to attract off-peak and mid-week tourists and more evenly disperse them across the Peninsula. It will offer exciting new opportunities for guided walking and cycling tours of the Peninsula’s vibrant food, wine and art scene. It will also unlock the potential for eco-tourism, as well as Aboriginal cultural and historic tours.”
“Our communities have been walking and cycling more than ever and have renewed appreciation for the joys of active recreation. The Peninsula Trail will reduce our reliance on cars and deliver real health and wellbeing benefits for our community.”
In a statement the Shire said the Peninsula Trail was a transformational opportunity to showcase the many attractions of the Mornington Peninsula and will deliver a host of economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits to the region.
"When complete, the Trail will extend over 100km and offer a continuous off-road cycling and walking track around the Mornington Peninsula”, the Shire said
"It will connect to Melbourne’s Bay Trail enabling cyclists to travel off road from the centre of Melbourne to the tip of the Mornington Peninsula at Portsea, with another branch running along Western Port to Balnarring and the hinterland.
"The completed Peninsula Trail will take its place among the great walking and cycling trails of the world such as the Route de Vins in France.
"Local residents will benefit by being able to cycle safely between townships, significantly reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions and improving mental and physical health.
"It will also provide visitors and residents with new ways to access our beaches, parks, farmgate sales, vineyards, cafes, restaurants and shops."