The most recent edition of the Northern Leader (16 May 2018) contains an article on the need to revitalise Campbellfield.
What isn’t mentioned in this article is that extending the Upfield Bike Path would be a major gateway project to the revitalisation of Campbellfield.
John Englart, Campaign Co-ordinator of the Extend the Upfield Bike Path to Upfield commented, “Constructing the Upfield bike path would provide an important safe cycling route through the suburb, and help in it’s revitalisation.”
“Residents could also safely cycle to Campbellfield Plaza if the Upfield Bike Path was extended.” highlighted Englart.
Currently there is no safe cycling route from the residential areas north of the shopping plaza, located on the corner of Sydney Road and Mahoneys Road. Sydney Road in Campbellfield has high volumes of traffic with many trucks and heavy vehicles and is a 70 kilometre per hour zone.
The Level Crossing Removal Authority said they ‘future-proofed’ the Camp Road level crossing removal project by making provision for a future bike path, but without doing any of the needed construction work.
Major Transport projects, including level crossing removals, have a policy mandate to construct new cycling infrastructure as part of the project. New cycling paths are being built as part of other level crossing removals across Melbourne including the Dandenong Pakenham line and the Mernda rail extension.
Despite Hume Council urging construction of the bike path as part of the Camp Road level Crossing removal, they were ignored by the Level Crossing Removal Authority.
In the Victorian State Budget funding for VicRoads was approved for Moreland Council and VicRoads to construct the Upfield bike path from Box Forest Road to the Western Ring Road Path beside the M80 ring road.
“The failure of the Level Crossing Removal Authority to construct the bike path to Camp Road was a major missed opportunity and a failure in major transport project planning by the Andrews government”, said John Englart.
“From talking to local people in this campaign, some Campbellfield residents would use the path to commute south through Moreland and to the Melbourne CBD. I have had people come up me from Fawkner and Coburg who work in Campbellfield saying if the path was constructed they would cycle to work.”
The Nestle factory has just announced expansion with 50 new jobs at it’s Campbellfield factory on Sydney Road. According to the Northern Leader article, Broadmeadows state Labor MP Frank McGuire said that former ex-auto workers, especially from the nearby Ford plant, would be alerted to the job opportunities.
“Mr McGuire forgot to mention the Upfield Bike Path extension would go behind this factory in the strategic cycling corridor next to the rail line. A perfect way for some people to cycle commute to these new jobs.” said Extend Upfield Bike Path campaigner John Englart.
“The public transport is also atrocious with the North Coburg to Upfield bus route only being an hourly service”, commented Englart. “This means, unless you live in the few streets nearby, you need a car to access these jobs.”
The 531 bus route is an hourly service from North Coburg to Upfield.
On the other side of the rail line to the Nestle Factory is a Woodlands Reserve.
“The Maygar Greybox Woodlands Reserve next to the Upfield rail line is worthwhile visiting and extending the Upfield Bike path would also provide better access to this important urban nature reserve containing endangered habitat.” said John Englart.
Grey Box grassy woodlands habitat is listed nationally as an endangered ecosystem under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
“Cr Joseph Haweil and Cr Jodi Jackson should be congratulated for bringing needed attention on Campbellfield’s lack of development, a suburb of Hume that has been overlooked for needed amenities such as linked cycling paths and sporting facilities.” said John Englart.
“It is about time Hume Council, the Andrews Labor state Government and Broadmeadows Labor MP Frank McGuire, paid more attention to Campbellfield’s development and social amenity.
“Fast-tracking the extension of the Upfield Bike Path and linking to Merri Creek Trail and Meadows Link Path would be a great start to revitalising Campbellfield.” concluded bike path campaigner John Englart.