Cycle ways have been on the agenda of both Maitland City Council and residents for a number of years but while there have been many suggestions there has been little in the way of progress.
That appears to be about to change with a comprehensive report outlining several routes for consideration to be voted on at the next council meeting on August 14.
Two suggested routes are between Maitland and Morpeth and Maitland and Walka Water Works – both of which are worthy of further consideration by councillors, being popular destinations in their own right.
More cycle ways would solve two of Maitland’s major problems; traffic congestion, and a lack of attractions to attract people to Maitland and keep residents from
looking to Newcastle and further afield for recreation and entertainment.
Cycle ways were part of the council’s Maitland 2021 strategic plan, and were seen by focus groups and others as one of the ways to create a more vibrant heart of the city.
Travel to any major European city and bikes are a major part of just that.
Already one Heritage Mall trader has had a vision of bikes-for-hire ventures at various locations in central Maitland, including the train station.
Bikes have also played a part in keeping traffic
congestion and environmental pollution in check.
Safety, however, must be of paramount importance; only last Thursday a cyclist died when his bike was hit by a car at Tarro, on the main road between Maitland and Newcastle.
The plan before council has much to offer, but as the mayor of Maitland, Cr Peter Blackmore has said on many occasions, cycle ways need careful planning.
We’ve got to get them, but we’ve got to get them right.