Railway footbridge no longer an obstacle for cyclists

UP AND OVER: Hayley Barrett takes her bicycle over the footbridge near Orange Railway Station. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0112jkramp2

UP AND OVER: Hayley Barrett takes her bicycle over the footbridge near Orange Railway Station. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0112jkramp2

CROSSING the footbridge over the railway line with a bike just became a whole lot easier with the installation of a ramp.

The ramp is the latest step in a long-term strategy by Orange City Council, aimed at making Orange more bike-friendly.

Councillor Stephen Nugent said during community consultation about how cyclists were moving about the city, it became clear locations like the pedestrian bridge were potential obstacles for riders.

“Having to carry a bike up and over the bridge could be a barrier for some cyclists and one of the aims of the Active Travel Plan is to remove barriers to people choosing active travel options,” he said.

The ramp is a simple metal angle fixed to the side of the steps, powder-coated safety yellow to ensure it can be easily seen.

“Bike riders simply wheel their bike at an angle into the ramp, and the push their bike up and over the bridge,” Cr Nugent said.

“The design aimed to keep the ramp as small and simple as possible to have minimal impact on the bridge appearance and use.”

The project cost about $5000.

Approvals from Transport for NSW and state heritage authorities were needed due to the bridge’s significance.

The original timber posts on the western end of the bridge were restored as part of the work.

The work was funded in partnership with NSW Roads and Maritime Services, under the Cycle Towns program.

The council received about $2 million from the program in 2015 to implement a range of measures, as one of just two locations chosen in the state.

Its Active Travel Plan has involved programs in schools , mapping, signage, extra paths and boardwalks, on-road marked bike lanes, bike racks and parking stations installed throughout Orange to encourage more people to ride or walk to school and work.

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