Funding boost for Bay Run to Cooks River connection

Residents of Sydney’s inner west are one step closer to being able to walk,run and cycle between the Cooks River and Iron Cove after the state government committed an additional $9.8 million towards the long-awaited greenway.

The shared path,which will follow the route of the Inner West Light Rail Line,is one of 55 projects in the greater Sydney region to receive a share of $40 million of funding that will be unveiled by the NSW government on Friday.

Active transport minister Rob Stokes said the grants would give families added opportunities for commuting and recreation,giving them the chance to leave the car at home and “leave more money in hip-pockets”.

The path at the Richard Murden Reserve in Haberfield has already been completed.

The path at the Richard Murden Reserve in Haberfield has already been completed.Wolter Peeters

“The evidence is clear that investing in active transport infrastructure makes local communities happier,healthier and more productive,” he said.

The shared path,or greenway,will provide a continuous link between the Cooks River cycle path and the popular Bay Run at Iron Cove,which is close to city bike corridors.

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The Inner West Council approved a master plan for the greenway in 2018 and expected it to be in use by the end of 2021,but the $45 million project is now slated for completion by 2024.

Greens councillor Marghanita da Cruz said funding had been one of the major delays to the project. She said building the greenway would help keep up with development in the area,as well as increased demand for recreation after coronavirus lockdowns.

“I don’t know why it’s taken so long because that extra pathway is really important to the community,” she said.

“I think it’s been played with and not treated as the significant project that it is.”

Some sections of the greenway have already been completed by the council including a shared path through Richard Murden Reserve,a seawall upgrade at Dobroyd Point and shared paths on streets through Dulwich Hill.

Lighting around the Bay Run is also being upgraded.

In November,the council will begin building the network of paths,tunnels and crossings between Lang Bridge on the Cooks River and the Bay Run at Iron Cove.

Other projects receiving funding include building a missing link of the 60-kilometre Grand Pacific Walk at Clifton,$3.1 million towards a pedestrian and cyclist path for George Street East,Parramatta,and $1.14 million to construct a new shared path for students riding or walking to Camden High School.

There is also $770,000 towards detailed designs for the Pippita Rail Trail project which will convert an unused freight link into a two-kilometre shared cycling and walking route between Lidcombe Station and Sydney Olympic Park.

The get NSW active grants program received 474 applications from councils across the state,with a range of regional projects set to be announced in the coming weeks.

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Angus Thomson is a reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald.

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