Tathra to Kalaru bike path concerns residents over safety issues

CONCERN: Alan Birchall, Hans Cremerius and Peter Otton say the nearby white line shows the width of the proposed bike path from the kerb.
CONCERN: Alan Birchall, Hans Cremerius and Peter Otton say the nearby white line shows the width of the proposed bike path from the kerb.

Several residents of Tathra have concerns about the proposed Tathra to Kalaru bike path and claim they have not been properly consulted over its plans. 

“We’re all pro the bike path, but not this particular route,” Peter Otton said.

Mr Otton, Hans Cremerius and Alan Birchall said the stretch they were concerned about was 700metres of proposed path along Bega St from Killarney Rd to Noojee St. If installed it would occupy a width of 2.5metres from the kerb on the side of the street with the nature strip. 

The three Bega St residents’ main concern was the lack of visibility they had when reversing out their driveways, saying there were 32 driveways along this stretch of road cyclists would pass and drivers would struggle to see a bike approaching. 

“I just fear for a car backing out and killing a cyclist, especially a child,” Mr Otton said. 

They said the “dangerous” intersection with Koorilla St, which the path would cross, was busy especially in the morning and evening when cars would travel it to avoid the Bega St school zone. 

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“To me the whole thing goes against the concept of why this road is being built; it’s supposed to be a safe route,” Mr Cremerius said. 

As well as the issues around safety, the group were concerned the roots of what they called the “iconic trees” along Bega St would break the bike path up, saying it had happened in the past to concrete driveways.

Also, they said in order to access the street’s utilities – including overhead powerlines, gas and water – vehicles would need to access the proposed area for the path. 

A spokesperson for Bega Valley Shire Council said council had recently written directly to residents along the proposed bike path to provide an update on the project and an opportunity for them to provide their feedback on the draft design.

“The letter follows periodic media releases that have been issued previously and the establishment of a dedicated project page on our website,” they said. 

They said many responses raised considerations or concerns that have already been addressed in the design, but all information collected during this phase would be collated and inform the final design. 

“The track promises to be an exciting addition to the area and council is committed to ensuring the best possible outcome is achieved for the community,” the spokesperson said. 

“To this end our project officers have written to the residents who have provided feedback with an offer to meet on-site to discuss the issues they have raised.” 

They said a number of people have taken up this offer and meetings have been held on site. 

A community meeting on the issue is being held at Tathra Public School on August 27 at 5.30pm.

The meeting will focus on the bike track alignment in Tathra and will see council address concerns over the proposed location.