Cycleway fight over future light rail ‘barrier’ to beach
A PROPOSED cycleway along the beachfront at Alexandra Headland is being fought by locals who consider their rearguard action the first line of defence against a light rail system.
The Beach Matters spokeswoman Rachael Bermingham said most locals would advocate for smaller, hydro-powered buses as opposed to fixed light rail infrastructure along the popular stretch of beach.
She said smaller, less intrusive transport was what locals were supportive of.
Ms Bermingham and others were currently rallying against a planned cycleway and median fencing along the stretch, as they were vehemently opposed to any barrier being created to the beach.
"Most are suggesting this is the prelude for the light rail stage," she said.
"It's not rocket science."
She said surveys conducted by the group had found broad support for slowing that section of Alexandra Pde down and building on the relaxed atmosphere created in the area.
Alexandra Headland Malibu Club president Kevin Annetts said it was vital there was "something there that the community wants".
He said retaining parking, ensuring no barriers to the beach and maintaining access were critical.
"We don't want any light rail along the front," Mr Annetts said.
He said people were attracted to the area for lifestyle reasons, and the ease of access to the beach.
Division 4 councillor Joe Natoli said he thought mass transit was "code to mass development" and he didn't think the public endorsed it, or knew what the trade off was for major infrastructure.
"At the moment there isn't the density to make light rail work," Cr Natoli said, adding he had concerns about going down that path then building the density around the system.
Deputy Mayor Rick Baberowski said extensive consultation undertaken in 2014 had informed the preferred routes for investigation, which included along Alexandra Pde.
The next detailed business case phase was to be led by the State Government, and was expected to finish by December, 2021, after council considers a preliminary business case due later this year.
"Council is not going to speculate on matters that are yet to be further explored and assessed in the detailed business case," Cr Baberowski said.
Another rally was planned for Sunday, June 14, from 3pm, with information to be distributed from 7am.