Community push for #BetterAccesstoQueenscliff

Published:
01/08/2019

 

Hundreds of locals have banded together to place pressure on Northern Beaches council to install an accessible walkway across Queenscliff Headland. 

To date, 750 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for Council to create a walkway that connects lower Greycliffe Street with the top of the headland. 

Locals say the installation of an accessible walkway in the form of a pathway snaking up the headland, an inclinator or a ramp parallel to the existing stairs is essential, as the stair access is currently difficult and unsafe for families with prams, people with disabilities, the elderly and bike riders.

“It’s a world-famous location, Queenscliff Beach. It’s just bizarre anyone with impaired mobility on the headland needs to drive to the beach,” says Paul Oates, committee member of the #BetterAccessforQueenscliff group. 

Locals are particularly concerned, as the alternative route to access the bridge requires a 1km walk back up Bridge Street and west on Queenscliff Road to cross at the blind corner opposite 41 – 45 Greycliffe Street.

Despite initially approving the motion for #BetterAccessforQueenscliff and engaging in a four-month investigation and community consultation period, Council motioned to defer the decision on the accessible walkway at the May meeting. 

According to Councillor Candy Bingham, the three options presented to Council for accessible access – the walkway, inclinator and ramp – were considered too costly and potentially unsafe.

“Greycliffe Street is a very steep, extremely narrow, very busy street, and the proposal to put a footpath up against the cliff-face of that street we just didn’t think was a safe option,” she explains.

“The other thing too, that option was estimated to cost $650,000 for a very small stretch of footpath and our budget for the whole of the Northern Beaches $3m.” 

She said the cost of maintenance for the inclinator and the lack of space for a ramp next to the stairs also presented an issue. 

Mr Oates said while he is disappointed with the decision to defer, he remains positive that the widespread community support for the accessible walkway will promote Council to take action.
 

Author:
Stephanie Aikins

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