Why do we need the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail?

There is currently no safe family-friendly bike and pedestrian path connecting Hawthorn to Box Hill. 

The nearest safe paths are the Koonung Creek Trail (5 km to the North alongside the Eastern Freeway) or Gardiners Creek Trail (5 km to the South). This is the largest gap for safe cycling in the inner to middle suburbs of the Melbourne Metropolitan area.

Building a path following the Belgrave/Lilydale railway line will encourage many people to cycle and walk who currently don't and greatly improve safety for those who already do.

Who would use the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail?

Bike riders, pedestrians, scooter riders, joggers and people on disability scooters and in wheelchairs  would use the trail. The trail will be suitable for bike riders of all ages and abilities, including school students, children learning to ride, novice cyclists and commuters.

How much would it cost to build the trail?

During the 2020-21 Feasibility study the approximate cost of options for the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail were best amenity: $6o million; acceptable amenity: including use of some short sections of local roads: $35 million; shimmy route: low amenity: $5 million. The actual cost will be determined when detailed designs are completed for the route.  To put this in context, the recently completed Surrey Hills and Mont Albert level crossing removal project that removed two road level crossings has cost a total of $1 billion.

What is the preferred route for the trail?

The preferred route identified during the feasibility study mostly follows the railway easement. This provides a direct route with the best gradient for bikes and connects several activity centres including Grace Park, Hawthorn, Hawthorn-Glenferrie Road major activity centre, Auburn Road historic shopping strip, Camberwell Junction major activity centre, Maling Road shopping village, Canterbury, Canterbury Sports Ground, Surrey Hills, Union Road Surrey Hills Shopping Strip, Mont Albert Village and Box Hill Metropolitan Activity Centre. The final route will be determined during the detailed design stage.

What are some other benefits of the trail?

Some other benefits of the trail include:

Who are the decisions makers that can approve funding for the trail?

Decison makers in the Victorian government and parliament who can advocate for and/or approve funding for the trail are:

Why is it taking so long to the build the trail?

While the trail is designated as a strategic cycling corridor, the only state government funding allocated to the trail to date has been $370,000 for the feasibility study.   More funds are required to design and build it.

While there are some challenges with building the trail the Surrey Hills Level Crossing Removal project demonstrated that such challenges can be overcome. Boroondara Council is progressing with design work for two sections of the trail.