Missing links: promises made, promises delayed

The Belconnen Bikeway, the Heysen Street Link bike path and the Kuringa Drive bike path were promised at the last ACT election in 2016. None have been completed. Can we afford to trust ACT Labor again to build cycling infrastructure?

What are “missing links”? What is the status of the Belconnen Bikeway, the Heysen Street Link and the Kuringa Drive bike path? How does the delivery of these projects compare? These questions will be answered here.

Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com

Missing links

Missing links describes gaps in the cycling network, and those gaps can be quite short. Adding another 100 m of path, connecting two other bike paths, makes a network. Without this short link, a cyclist may need to ride a much great distance.

Filling the gap and building a cycling path to form a network does not need to be expensive and it is very worthwhile. The value of fixing the missing link far exceeds the construction costs as it makes the whole path network more attractive to cyclists.

ACT Labor promised to build several missing links at the 2016 ACT Election. There are many missing links in the ACT cycling network.

Belconnen Bikeway (C3)

  • Status update 11 October 2020: under construction.
  • Opened: 1.6 km from Florey to Westfield and 0.5km between Kirinari Street and Cooinda Street along College Street. In total 2.1 km is opened from 4.7 km complete length.
  • Visual appearance: Mostly paved and marked but fenced off for most of its length. Only two short sections are open.
  • Scope: Benjamin Way was promised and now has been removed from the project. It may be in planning but there is no evidence of this.

The ACT Government has begun with the construction of the Belconnen Bikeway and discuss here in more detail.

Belconnen Bikeway under construction, stand 11/10/2020
Belconnen Bikeway under construction, stand 11/10/2020
CBR Cycle Route C3 - Belconnen Bikeway
CBR Cycle Route C3 – Belconnen Bikeway. Map: CBR Cycle Routes Current principal and main off road routes Version 9 TCCS
ACT Labor 2016 Election Belconnen Bikeway
ACT Labor 2016 Election Belconnen Bikeway

Heysen Street Link

Heysen Street shortens the ride from the new suburbs in Molonglo Valley / Weston Creek and Woden Valley. The road was of a “rural road standard” and a death trap for cyclists.

Heysen Street Link benefited from the 2020 Fast Track program. Heysen Street Link was slow to move forward but now has funding all the way to Woden.

  • Status update 11 October 2020: under construction.
  • Progress: currently still in an early stage of construction.
  • Visual appearance: The area is fenced off along its entire length and Heysen Street is closed for traffic.
Weston to Lyons along Heysen Street

Construction in 3 stages

The funding comes from different pots but should produce a route from Weston to Woden Town Centre.

Heysen Street Link, ACT Government, 12/10/2020

Stage One

  • Type: off-road shared path
  • Where: from the intersection of Devonport Street and Derwent Street, through the Oakey Hill Nature Reserve, along Heysen Street, ending at its intersection with Hilder Street.
  • Construction: August 2020 to late 2020
  • Funding: ACT Government $1.2 million

Stage Two

  • Type: off-road shared path
  • Where: from the underpass near the Lyons shops, along Launceston Street to Burnie Street.
  • Construction: late 2020 to early 2021
  • Funding: ACT Government’s Fast Track Program.

Stage Three

Heysen Street Link, ACT Government, 12/10/2020
Heysen Street missing link to Woden Town Centre
Heysen Street missing link to Woden Town Centre. Map: CBR Cycle Routes Current principal and main off road routes Version 9 TCCS

Kuringa Drive

  • Status update 11 October 2020: in planning.
  • Opened: The construction is yet to start.
  • Visual appearance: Apart from a sign announcing the project nothing has changed.
  • Scope: The signalisation of the intersection is paid for in part by the Federal Government and will make the intersection safer. Apart from that nothing has changed from the original proposal. The signalisation of the intersection does not in any way increase the length of the bike path. It will not connect at Dixon Drive to other bike paths.

Kuringa Drive off-road bike path between Barton Highway in the north and Kingsford Smith Drive in the south is coming but still in planning. It provides an important connection between the western suburbs of Belconnen and Gungahlin. Kuringa Drive crosses CSIRO Commonwealth land. The development of this land was blocked by the ACT Government. 

Kuringa Drive between Barton Hwy to Kingsford Smith Dr
Heysen Street missing link to Woden Town Centre
Heysen Street missing link to Woden Town Centre. Map: CBR Cycle Routes Current principal and main off road routes Version 9 TCCS
Photo by Luiz Martins on Pexels.com

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