Cyclists on trail of off-road tracks

Robert Slabak goes off-road cycling on the Yaberoo Budjara trail. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d441355
Robert Slabak goes off-road cycling on the Yaberoo Budjara trail. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d441355

A MINDARIE grandfather says the northern suburbs need more tracks for off-road cycling.

Robert Slabak (62) said there was only one trail in the Wanneroo area suitable for off-road cycling, with most trails found in the Perth Hills or down south.

“I have four young grandsons and would love to have off-road cycle trails set up in Wanneroo and northern areas,” he said.

“The only place I can off-road cycle is Yaberoo Budjara trail.

“The track is mainly for walkers; however the limestone base makes it great for off-road cycling. At the moment it is used more by cyclists – I use it every week.”

Mr Slabak said he used the 7.5km stretch between Burns Beach Road and Hester Avenue, and thought the full length through Neerabup National Park to Yanchep National Park should have a limestone base.

He said other options could include creating a trail through Tamala Park Conservation Reserve by sealing existing tracks, and in the longer term, linking the Yaberoo Budjara trail with the Munda Biddi trail that leads to Albany.

Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said the City’s trails master plan highlighted areas suitable for off-road cycling, including the Yanchep National Park, Gnangara Regional Park and Yellagonga Regional Park.

“The City provides a network of shared paths within the road reserve for cyclists, as well as recreational paths along the coast,” she said.

“A review of the trails master plan was identified as part of the development of Cycle Wanneroo – that review will help shape any future off-road cycling facilities.

“There are several aspects to consider when planning off-road cycling facilities including the budget, the environment and the varied uses for trails, including horse riding, walking and cycling.”

Department of Parks and Wildlife recreation and trails co-ordinator Stuart Harrison said there were no designated mountain biking or off-road cycling trails in land it managed in the north-west corridor.

“There are designated mountain bike trails throughout the Perth Hills,” he said.

“Parks and Wildlife acknowledges there is rapid growth of mountain biking in WA and has been working closely with other stakeholders, including Westcycle, the WA Mountain Bike Association and the Department of Sport and Recreation, to develop the recently released WA Mountain Bike Strategy.

“A key recommendation of the strategy is the completion of regional master planning to identify locations for future trail development.”

Mr Harrison said the draft Perth Peel Mountain Bike Master Plan (PPMP) would be out for public comment later this year.

“The recent community survey for the PPMP has highlighted the demand for trails within the metropolitan area, including the north-west corridor, and potential areas are being considered,” he said.

“Future trails would be developed according to the trail development process outlined in the WA Mountain Bike Guidelines.”

The City of Wanneroo’s draft cycling strategy and plan is out for public comment until August 10. For more information, visit www.wanneroo.wa.gov.au.

Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said the City had no off-road cycling trails on its land, but was liaising with other agencies on the State bike plan.

“Local governments with large amounts of undeveloped land are best placed to develop off-road cycling trails. As the City is a developed municipality, there are constraints on how undeveloped land can be used,” he said.

“This includes land being set aside for housing and parks or land that has been designated Bush Forever.”

Mr Pickard said some land was under the jurisdiction of other agencies, with Lake Joondalup managed by DPAW.