Bell Sounds Footpath Fight

5 Oct 2010


Bell sounds footpath fight


By Laura Wakely (Star News Group)

5th October 2010 02:05:10 AM

Kilmore East's Amy Bell said the car parks and kerbs created in the Government's Kilmore East Gateway project had forced pedestrians to walk on O'Grady's Rd.

Ms Bell said the road was becoming more and more dangerous for residents to walk on and said the roadsides had become “boggy”.

Ms Bell is a mother of three who walks on the road every day, often with a pram. She said residents also had to walk on the road to reach the facilities at the Kilmore East Recreation Reserve.

“I've nearly been run over countless times,” Ms Bell said.

“O'Grady's Rd has become quite busy with large gravel trucks, commercial vehicles and buses, all through traffic to the freeway.”

Ms Bell has been petitioning for a footpath to be created on O'Grady's Rd for more than a year.

“The first thing I did was approach the (Mitchell Shire) councillors, (but) I was told it was a rural area, (it) doesn't require footpaths and there's no funds available,” she said.

Ms Bell organised a petition in 2009, which gained 88 signatures, but the council voted against funding the footpath and was unable to receive grants for the project.

Ms Bell said she noticed a small footpath was created for the Gateway project and wanted the path extended along O'Grady's Rd.

“It's only 20-30 metres that needs to be constructed,” Ms Bell said.

Ms Bell has submitted her second petition to council, with 120 signatures.

She has also contacted VicTrack and V/Line, but said it was like “working through a maze”.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said the footpath had not been extended because it “wasn't part of the Kilmore East Station Gateway project scope”.

“It's so poorly planned,” Ms Bell said. “Council would have received the plans (for the station upgrades). They should have looked at the provisions for pedestrians.”

Council chief executive officer David Keenan said the council had put a “considerable amount of research into developing possible transport solutions for pedestrians in Kilmore East.”

He said the council would prepare a report for the Kilmore East footpath for a council meeting in October.

Ms Bell said her long-term goal was to complete a footpath in “manageable stages.”

“Ideally, we'd eventually have a track from Kilmore East to Kilmore,” she said.