Off the rails: mayor backs cycling on railway line
TWEED mayor Barry Longland wants to put the cycling well and truly back into recycling the old Casino to Murwillumbah railway line.
Cr Longland has said he will put his full support behind converting the disused tracks into a substantial cycling and walking trails.
"It appears to be clear the door has now closed on a return of the Casino to Murwillumbah rail," Cr Longland said.
"While that is disappointing for transport in the Tweed and our southern neighbours, we welcome the fact the State Government has considered the creation of a rail trail along the existing corridor.
"Now is the time to be looking for alternative uses for the rail corridor and the rail trail has the potential to be a fantastic recreation asset for our community, as well as a wonderful tourism drawcard."
Cr Longland was also glad to see the railway corridor remain in public ownership.
A Murwillumbah to Casino Transport Study report released by State Government department Transport for NSW this month recommended the train service remain suspended.
The report acknowledges the route's scenic beauty, the potential to convert the existing rail infrastructure to accommodate the rail trail and its capacity to build upon existing 'green' and active tourism in the area.
"The fantastic scenery of our area gives us the potential to establish the Casino to Murwillumbah rail trail as Australia's premiere rail trail, Cr Longland said."The Tweed is particularly well placed to benefit because of its proximity to the Gold Coast Airport and the huge population of South East Queensland.
This makes it ideal as the starting point for domestic and international tourists to catch a bus to Murwillumbah and start cycling."
Cr Longland said the next step was to conduct a feasibility study on the proposed plan.
Trains On Our Tracks (TOOT) community group president Karin Kolbe said that they were preparing a detailed critique on the transport study and claimed that it was not accurate.
Ms Kolbe said that TOOT wanted trains and bicycles to operate on the same corridor.