Seeking a Safer Off-road Walking and Cycling Route Between Bairnsdale and Paynesville

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The road between Bairnsdale and Paynesville and general prevailing traffic conditions particularly discourage bicycle use by women, children, older citizens and visiting tourists. The road is also a hazardous environment for persons who do or are considering commuting by bicycle.

There is pent up demand for a safer route between these towns. The present situation also deprives Eagle Point and Paynesville of benefits for local businesses and residents alike.

A safer off-road link between Bairnsdale, Eagle Point, and Paynesville would add to the existing East Gippsland tourism benefits available from the East Gippsland Rail Trail and the growing network of off-road options within the Shire.

Nationally and globally the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore the value and significance of active transport, that is, individuals and communities gaining health and other benefits from walking and bicycle riding. That realisation is now having a significant impact on cities and towns globally.

Additionally as a factor in building community and environmental resilience, active transport has a ‘no regrets’ benefit.

In support of the intent of this PETITION the following Council policies, documents and plans that support such a development are cited:

o Shaping the Future, Our Community Vision 2040

o Well Placed for Well Being

o Bairnsdale Sporting Facilities Plan

o Shared Bicycle and Pedestrian Pathway Design Analysis titled: ”Bairnsdale to Paynesville"

The Council is also currently developing a Shire Road Safety Policy.

Therefore we the persons undersigned to this PETITION respectfully call on you to make appropriate decisions and take appropriate actions which will progress delivery of a safer and viable off-road route between Bairnsdale and Paynesville.

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