After a three-year campaign spearheaded by concerned residents, footpaths at North Avoca will be upgraded using $4.3M in funding from the Federal Government.
Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, said the North Avoca Paths Package will connect homes to the beach and local shops by completing a continuous footpath along Tramway Rd, View St and Elgata Ave.
Resident Alison Taylor started gauging community interest about three years ago.
“Ours used to be a very quiet suburb, but it is getting busier and busier and cars fly down Tramway Rd,” Taylor said.
“I have young children and when you’re out trying to walk along the roads pushing a pram it is very scary.
“Because there are no gutters or pathways, cars park on the grass verge, forcing people onto the road as they tried to pass while walking.
“I started a Facebook group and it attracted a lot of comments very quickly – there were a lot of other mums who were scared to walk around their own suburb.
“I made approaches to Central Coast Council – forwarding any Facebook posts and asking for action.
“But Council was not replying to emails or phone calls so I reached out to Lucy Wicks.
“She listened to us and got things moving – securing some funding for the work.
“We got close to 500 signatures on a change.org petition and that helped our case.”
Taylor said it was “awesome” that work had now started on the upgrades.
“There is some major work to be done – they have started by digging up the ground for stormwater drains and gutters and already cars are parking to align with the gutters so we can actually walk between the houses and the cars and kids can ride their bikes safely,” she said.
Taylor said when the footpath network was complete it would make a huge difference to residents, especially the many young families living in the suburb.
Wicks said the project was the result of a genuine need for more infrastructure in the area.
“Parents with prams and kids on bikes and scooters didn’t feel it was safe to walk from their homes to the beach or local shops – that’s why this project is so important,” she said.
“Locals in North Avoca really fought for this project by signing a petition and creating a Facebook page dedicated to see better road safety in their area.
“We are upgrading the entire length of Elgata Ave and View St to ensure pedestrians and young families can walk and exercise in North Avoca.”
Council Director Infrastructure Services, Boris Bolgoff, said the Elgata Ave upgrade included drainage improvements and kerb and gutter construction.
“This continuous 1.5 metre pathway will stretch for 585 metres and will provide a safe pedestrian route for residents and visitors to access the beach and nearby cafés and retail outlets,” Bolgoff said.
“The project aligns with Council’s aim to deliver pathways that complete missing links and improve connections to provide environmentally friendly transport options.”
Council Administrator, Rik Hart, said the project would deliver on key objectives outlined in the Central Coast Bike Plan and Central Coast Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan (PAMP).
It is anticipated the first section of Elgata Ave will be completed by the end of the year, with works progressing into View St in 2022 and finishing with Tramway Rd in the 2022/23 financial year.
Details of the project are available at centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/roadanddrainageprojects