The Adelaide Hills Council has received $2.6 million dollars from the Federal Government to complete a popular bikeway from Mount Torrens to Birdwood.
Deputy Mayor Nathan Daniell says completion of the bikeway is an important step towards recovery in the region and supports the wider strategic vision for cycling in the Hills.
“Council and the community have long advocated for the completion of the Amy Gillett with this project providing another important way for our towns and community to reconnect after the Cudlee Creek Bushfire and COVID-19," Cr Daniell said .
“Completion of the Amy Gillett bikeway also supports the region’s wider strategic interest in cycling, including securing funding for the Adelaide Wine Capital Cycle Trail, supporting The Santos Tour Down Under and development of mountain biking and other cycling trails."
The bikeway is named in honour of cyclist Amy Gillett who was tragically killed in 2005 during a training ride with the Australian women’s cycling team.
The Amy Gillett Foundation's Chief Executive has welcomed the investment.
“We’ve known for decades that safety is key to cycling participation. Recent polling commissioned by the foundation shows that 89 per cent of Australians support temporary separated bike lanes, making it clear that separated cycling infrastructure is the preference for all road users," Foundation CE Dan Kneipp said.
“We look forward to seeing a greater investment made in other parts of the country to ensure all Australians have access to safe cycling.”
The project was started by the Rann-Government in 2010 on an abandoned rail corridor from Oakbank to Woodside.
In 2014, the Weatherill-Government continued stage 2 and 3 of the project, extending it to Charleston and Mount Torrens.
Since then, work has stalled on the remainder of the planned bikeway with no further funding allocated by the State Government.
Now the Federal Government is stepping in to contribute to stage 4 of the plan.
Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Adelaide Hills Council have both recognised the work of Rebekha Sharkie, the Federal Member for Mayo, in securing the funding outcome.
"Rebekha has been a strong advocate for local infrastructure projects that boost the local economy and strengthen community and relationships," Minister Cormann said.
Ms sharkie said she has been working on securing funding for the completion of Stage 4 of the Bikeway since she was first elected in 2016 and that it is a project often raised by constituents.
“Cycling is now a very popular recreational activity in Mayo and the Santos Tour Down Under has put the Hills on the map as a cycling destination," Ms Sharkie said.
"Thousands use the bikeway, and it is a huge tourism drawcard for Mayo so completing Stage 4 will add to the appeal of this shared-use trail.”
The council aims to include Mt Pleasant in stage 5 of the project.
Photo of Amy Gillett Bikeway by Darren Clements Photography, supplied by AHC