A shared path along the Moorooduc-Mornington railway line could cost up to $7 million.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council traffic and transport team leader Tom Haines-Sutherland said preliminary costing put the path at $6 million to $7 million, but this could change once planning and design work were done. “The council has been actively advocating for state and federal funding for this path as it will provide a much-needed economic boost to the Peninsula, increase options for walkers and riders and connect Mornington to the city via the Peninsula Link and Bay Trail cycling paths,” Mr Haines-Sutherland said.
The Mornington Safelink Group’s petition calling for a path has attracted almost 3000 signatures and has been supported by the Mornington Railway Preservation Society, which runs a historic train on the line and recently urged people to stop walking alongside the line as it prepared to resume its train rides between Moorooduc and Mornington (Don’t put your lives on the line, Making News, November 16).
Supporters of the path are adamant it should be built near the railway line, but Mr Haines-Sutherland said: “We are looking into a variety of options within and near the rail corridor, as well as some that deviate significantly from the rail corridor. The final alignment will depend on factors such as the location and ability to protect important indigenous vegetation, (and) safety and function for both users and surrounding residents.
“A flora and fauna assessment was previously undertaken for the proposal and additional work has also been done to update the Shire’s data on the location of high-value biodiversity along the rail corridor. Due to legislative changes and the range of alternative routes being considered, a new flora and fauna assessment is likely to be required once route options have been further refined.”
Mr Haines-Sutherland said residents and groups including the Transport Department; Environment, Land, Water and Planning Department; Melbourne Water; and the railway preservation society would be involved in the path’s planning and design.