The North West Riders Group led a community ride on Sunday to look at the progress of the Coastal Pathway between Leith and Turners Beach and Ulverstone and West Ulverstone.
The path is mostly complete between Leith and Turners Beach with a few little sections that will be fixed up when Tas Networks moves a pole and the underpass under the Bass Highway is widened.
This section includes the revamped Forth rail bridge which is now a shared path bridge as well as a lovely little bridge that crosses through the wetlands on the edge of the River Forth and delivers you to the end of Lukin Street.
This is where the path ends, but Turners Beach streets are quiet and if you turn right off the bridge you can take a bushland path through to The Esplanade for a scenic loop around to where the path to Ulverstone begins at the rail lines over Turners Beach Road.
This path takes you to and through Ulverstone where you join up with the new path that will finish at Rockliff Road in West Ulverstone.
This path is complete on the off-road section and work will soon finish on the section along Penguin Road between the rail lines and road that then switches to the other side of the road at Westland Drive.
Don to Leith path
Work has started on the Don to Leith section of the pathway, beginning at the Leith end at the Short Street underpass, with the base for the path being laid over the hill on the southern side of the Bass Highway.
This path will follow the southern side of the Bass Highway until the Waverley Road intersection where the path will cross under the highway utilising an existing cattle underpass.
It will then run alongside Waverley and Don Heads Road to the already constructed shared path bridge that meets up with the Devonport Cycle and Walking Track.
You can see the detailed plans for the route on the Central Coast Council website: https://www.centralcoast.tas.gov.au/leith-to-don-shared-pathway/
Penguin to Sulphur Creek
Another recently completed section of pathway that wasn’t part of the Sunday ride was the section between Penguin and Sulphur Creek.
Much of this path is on the road and separated from traffic by concrete barriers which is rarely used in Tasmania but common interstate. The path transitions between the road and off-road sections along the coastline.
This route is mostly complete but a few issues with delineation between the path and road/car parking entrances have emerged which the council will try to rectify.
Turners Beach and Wynyard paths
The Central Coast Council has talked to the community about where the Coastal Pathway should go through Turners Beach and in January approved a route that heads down Lukin and Susan streets to Henry Street past the sportsground, then onto the Esplanade and Turners Beach Road and the path to Ulverstone.
There is currently no funding or timeline for this project, but now the route has been settled the council can start budgeting and applying for grants to get work underway.
Burnie and Wynyard councils have come to an agreement with the state government about funding for the path between Wynyard and Cooee. The councils now need to finish the development application for the path and all the reports associated with it. If that all goes to plan then a construction tender is due to go out in May with work set to begin in September this year with a finish date of September 2024.
The councils still need commitments from state and federal governments for funding to complete the pathway on the two sections between West Ulverstone and Penguin and between Heybridge and Wivenhoe. While not as urgent as these two sections, funding will also need to be found to widen the existing narrow path along the highway between Sulphur Creek and Heybridge.