ACT News


Lakeside ride 'Australia's best, but could be better'

It's the ''best half day ride in Australia,'' but according to Canberra's cycling pressure group, the pedal around Lake Burley Griffin could get a lot better.

Pedal Power ACT took a group of local and federal politicians for a spin around the lake's shores yesterday to show there was room for improvement. Pedal Power spokesman Brendan Nerdal says that key gaps in cycling infrastructure around the lake are the missing pieces in one of the nation's great rides.

Federal member for Fraser Andrew Leigh, ACT Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury and the Canberra Liberals' Alistair Coe joined well known cyclists Michael Milton and Stephen Hodge for an anti-clockwise ride around the lake, starting from Commonwealth Place.

The cyclists are worried about what they see as a lack of inclusion for riders in the master plan for the Jerrabomberra wetlands on the eastern edge of the lake.

There have also been problems with access through the Kingston Foreshore area, while the upmarket neighbourhood is being built, and a collapsed bike path to the north of the wetlands, alongside Morshead Drive is also causing headaches.

Then there is a crossing at Bowen Place in Parkes, slated for a multi-million dollar upgrade.


''We're very pleased that the ACT and federal governments have agreed to fix that by 2014, so that's delightful,'' Mr Nerdal told the group during a pause in yesterday's ride.

''Jerrabomberra wetlands is under review at the moment and there are musings that bike riders might be required to slow down to walking speed, which kind of defeats the purpose.

''There's a part of the ride up here that has fallen into the Molonglo River.''

Mr Nerdal told the group, which also included federal politicians from Parliament House's Riders on the Hill club, that Pedal Power wanted to see deadlines in place for these problems to be solved, in time for the lake's 50th anniversary year in 2014.

''All this stuff is in the budget and in two years' time we get to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lake being filled in and officially opened by Sir Robert Menzies,'' Mr Nerdal told the group,

''What Pedal Power is launching, in a soft way, is the concept of celebrating that moment in time and having a great ride around the lake to celebrate it.''

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