City of Wanneroo and Northern Beaches Cycling Club continue search for training facilities location

Stock image.
Stock image.

CYCLING facilities in the north coast area are several years away from becoming reality, with the City of Wanneroo proposing to open the first in 2021.

At its June 26 meeting, the council noted the 290-signature petition lodged in May for a rider education centre and bike park, where youth could learn to ride and learn road rules away from traffic. It also noted such facilities would form part of future planning through Cycle Wanneroo and the Cycling Master Plan for the Northern Coastal Corridor.

A report to the council said Cycle Wanneroo was expected to cost $48.5 million over 16 years but the master plan had not yet identified costs for specific facilities.

Northern Beaches Cycling Club president Chris Howard said the cycling group had been advocating for a facility since 2013, initially hoping to use the Alkimos wastewater treatment plant buffer zone.

MORE: Northern Beaches Cycling Clubs finds home at Quinns Rocks Sports Club

However, the council report said the City and club’s efforts had been unsuccessful. Dr Howard said that meant they were still without a suitable training facility.

He said junior training was done on open roads and in carparks, but the club cancelled that earlier this year because it “could not guarantee kids’ safety”.

“The community would not accept cars driving through fields during footy training; the same should be expected for up and coming cycling athletes,” he said.

Dr Howard said the club still hoped to identify a safe local facility for the summer racing season and believed the City would deliver if committed to reducing traffic congestion and encouraging healthy lifestyles through active transport infrastructure.

He said lack of facilities meant the club had to turn away primary schools that were keen to have their pupils complete rider competency tests.

“More kids riding to school would greatly reduce traffic congestion and better prepare the next generation for road rules when they do go for their driver’s licences,” he said.

The council report said a cycling path would be included in the $21.2 million Butler north district open space, due to open by 2021.

It said developers were creating a rider education facility at Leatherback Park, Alkimos and the Wanneroo Raceway Master Plan identified provision of BMX and mountain biking facilities.

The City is also part of a Growth Area Perth and Peel campaign for Federal funding, launched last week.

It wants $41.5 million for sports facilities at Butler north district open space, Alkimos regional open space and Kingsway Regional Sporting Complex.

MORE: City of Wanneroo pitches for $41.5 million to deliver sport facilities in funding GAPP campaign