Northern Beaches Cycling Club welcomes Wanneroo Council endorsement for $5.9m Alkimos cycling facility

The Alkimos cycling facility concept plan.
The Alkimos cycling facility concept plan.

CYCLING advocates have welcomed Wanneroo Council’s endorsement of the North Coast Cycling Facility Master Plan and concept plan for a $5.9 million regional cycling facility.

The plan identified the future Alkimos regional open space as the most appropriate site for the facility, which would include a 1.1km long, 6m wide criterium circuit, bike education track, amenities building and a carpark.

Northern Beaches Cycling Club president Chris Howard said the facility would “put the region on the map for cycling” and attract competitors from across WA.

“It will be a great asset that will encourage families to get out and involved the local community. Schools will be able to include rider education in their curriculum, and mums and dads can enjoy a coffee while kids tear around the bike education course, or race on safe facilities,” Dr Howard said.

“The bike park is the first of its kind, designed for accessibility for all ages and all abilities.

“The different courses will be accessible for people with disabilities who can use wheelchairs, tandem, tricycle, recumbent, hand-cranked or modified bicycles for fitness, training or racing.

“The proposed location places the bike park adjacent to the Yaberoo-Budjara Heritage Trail, offering more options for mountain biking and cyclocross.”

The club has been advocating for cycling facilities for several years and submitted an Alkimos Bike Town proposal in 2013 that centred on creating a track around the Alkimos waste water treatment plant buffer zone.

However, the October council report said the Water Corporation had ruled it out as it was considering other “conflicting” uses for the buffer zone.

It said the City instead progressed the master plan and identified the 50ha regional open space as a preferred location because it was central to existing and future cycling activity and could accommodate the facility’s 6.4ha footprint.

A preliminary concept plan showed it would also have two football ovals, 32 netball courts, four soccer fields, an athletics track, four rugby fields, eight touch rugby fields and three baseball or softball pitches.

The central Alkimos local structure plan, endorsed by the council in 2016, identified the site would be located between the future rail and Mitchell Freeway extensions.

The City’s Northern Coastal Growth Corridor Community Facilities Plan said the smaller 10.5ha Alkimos district open space would be delivered about 2026.It listed other regional and district infrastructure needed until 2061, however did not include the Alkimos regional open space.

At the council briefing session, councillor Paul Miles raised concerns about the timeline of when people could expect the facility to be built.

The City’s administration plans to submit a further report on the terms of reference for a cycling facility working group to the council in early 2019.

The City will also consider developing a criterium track at the Wanneroo Raceway precinct.

The report said in the shorter term, the City and cycling club could investigate with the WA Sporting Car Club whether cyclists could train on the existing racetrack.

It also highlighted that a cycle path network was included in the Butler north district open space, which the City plans to build between 2019 and 2021.

According to the report, the northern corridor population will grow by 89,389 people over the next 20 years with most growth in the age groups up to 24 years old and between 35 and 54 years old, which were key cycling participation age cohorts.

It said the 2017 National Cycling Participation Survey found about 425,000 people in WA regularly rode for sport or recreation.

The club has about 800 members, with 333 living in the City including 228 in the north coast area.