The state government has allocated a sum of $370,000 in its 2019-20 budget, to proceed with initial planning and design of the project. This has come about by the active lobbying of both MeBUG and Boroondara BUG and especially, the collection of hundreds of signatures on a petition backing the project.
Earlier background and details:
The state government announced on October 21st 2018 that if re-elected, it will remove a further 25 level crossings over and above the 50 already done or in planning. These further 25 include Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert and Union Road, Surrey Hills.
Removal of these crossings provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to implement a high quality shared user path (SUP) from Hawthorn to Box Hill, to connect with the almost complete Box Hill to Ringwood Shared User Path (BHRSUP). This would largely complete the concept of the Eastern Rail Trail going back to 1996.
We will be working with other interested groups such as Boroondara BUG to advocate to both state and local government to include a high quality shared path as an integral part of these level crossing removal projects.
We have prepared a detailed proposal for the segment between Box Hill and the Anniversary Trail.
This project has a history dating back to 1996 with the publication by Whitehorse and Boroondara councils and the state government of a Feasibility Study for the Eastern Rail Trail. In 2005, cycling advocate Peter Campbell published an Eastern Rail Trail bicycle path proposal showing suggested route details from Surrey Hills to the Yarra at Swan Street.