Hawthorn to Box Hill Discovery ride 21 Apr 2024 

Over 30 supporters participated in the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail discovery ride on 21 April 2024.

We met at Cookson Street where Dr Monique Ryan and Cr Victor Franco spoke to supporters before we headed off. Dr Ryan is following up with the Victorian government and Boroondara Council to determine how a federal grant application can be submitted to get funds for the trail.

We rode to locations to between Camberwell and Mont Albert Village, including the section recently built by the Surrey Hills Level Crossing Removal Project, to view route possibilities along the trail. 

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Cr Victor Franco

Camberwell Station to Stanhope Grove

Cr Victor Franco advised that Boroondara Council is preparing a feasibility study for a section of the trail along the south side of the railway easement where there is currently a narrow footpath.

East Camberwell Station and the Anniversary Trail

The trail could cross the over the railway and go past East Camberwell Station where it would connect with the Anniversary Trail (Outer Circle Trail).

The Anniversary Trail connection

East Camberwell Station to Canterbury Station and Shierlaw Avenue

The trail would follow the north side of the railway easement next to Dudley Parade then be elevated over the Canterbury Railway Station car park and Canterbury Road to get to Shierlaw Avenue. This section of the trail will provide access to the historic Maling Road shopping centre, a popular local destination.

Crossing Myrtle Road

Canterbury Station car park

Crossing Canterbury Road

Shierlaw Avenue to Sunbury Crescent

The Victorian Government Feasibility Study shows the trail following Kingston Road to Sunbury Crescent

However, it is possible that a more direct alignment could be achieved on the north side of the railway easement with a bridge over Robinson Road. 

Shierlaw Avenue

Sunbury Crescent and Union Road crossing (LXRP)

Unfortunately, the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Level Crossing Removal project (LXRP) did not build the trail along Sunbury Crescent, and has placed some railway infrastructure where the trail would go.

The trail built the the LXRP provide starts very close to the entrance to the Coles Local (a danger point) and the sight lines are blocked by a screen where the shared path intersects with the footpath over the rail trench.  These problems haver been raised with local MPs Paul Hamer and John Pesutto but have not yet been addressed.

In addition, there is no bike lane or markings on the shared path crossing over Union Road.

Start of the new shared path

Traffic entering local supermarket

Union Road shared path crossing 

Union Station to Mont Albert Road crossing (LXRP)

The shared path proceeds past the station carpark entrances and the main station entrance then along next to Lorne Parade.  There are activation buttons for the Mont Albert Road shared path crossing at a good height and location for bike riders before the crossing.

There are no bike lane or markings on the shared path crossing over Mont Albert Road.

Shared path passing Union Station carpark

Shared path next to Lorne Parade

Mont Albert Road shared path crossing

Mont Albert Road to Hamilton Street shops and Churchill Street (LXRP)

This section of the path has only recently opened.  After crossing Mont Albert Road the shared path continues on the south side of the rail trench to  the Hamilton Street Shops then on the Churchill Street.

There is another blind spot where the path reaches the new Mont Albert Village Plaza. Sight lines for pedestrians and cyclists are again obscured by a sight screen.  This was clearly evident during the discovery ride. 

The shared path then exits onto Churchill Street where there is no provision or markings for the shared path to continue to Box Hill.

Shared path and Mont Albert Plaza

(note obstructed sight line)

Shared path and Mont Albert Plaza

Shared path exit onto Churchhill St

Churchill St toward Box Hill

In conclusion

Its great to see a short section of the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail has now been built. However, many are asking why it doesn't go anywhere!

The connection to Box Hill will provide a safe route for cyclists and walkers that avoids very busy roads (Whitehorse Road, Mont Albert Road and Elgar Road).

Connecting to Camberwell then Hawthorn and Richmond will provide access to several shopping and activity centres and the Main Yarra Trail to get to the city.

Funding from the Victorian government is needed to design and build the trail.