I am pleased to announce that funding towards the conversion of the Otford Tunnel No.7 to a cycle path will be made available from the current NSW Budget to improve connections between Stanwell Park and Bald Hill. This is great news for cyclists in the region and is one of more than 150 local walking and cycling projects across the state to improve links between communities and encourage active transport.
This historic tunnel, originally opened in October 1888, hasn’t been used for passenger transport since 1920. It is 1.5 kilometres long and is part of the original Illawarra Railway cutting through Stuarts Range.
For almost a century it’s either sat idle, used as a walkway, used by the military in WWII, seen life as a mushroom farm or used as an access path for railway workers.
This year’s budget would see $62 million in Active Transport funding in addition to the $80 million Restart NSW reservation in the Cycling Infrastructure Fund. It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to unlock funds to start work on great active transport projects like the Otford Tunnel.
Funding will initially go towards feasibility, heritage and planning studies.