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Regional Growth Fund ensures Wangaratta remains a cycling hub

Wednesday, 13 August 2014
Wangaratta’s reputation as the home of cycling in Victoria’s North East will be further enhanced with the Victorian Coalition Government investing $400,000 to create a cycling hub in the town’s central business district (CBD).
Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan joined The Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy to announce the Coalition Government’s $400,000 investment, which is being delivered through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.
Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government’s assistance would enable the $500,000 Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub development project to proceed.
He said the project would transform the Wangaratta Comfort Station building at Merriwa Park into a CBD cycling hub. 
Mr Ryan said the project would open up the view to Merriwa Park from the CBD and create a central cycle exchange at the southern end of town.
The project includes the development of toilet and shower facilities, construction of a deck overlooking Merriwa Park, installation of secure bicycle storage, and information on local trails and tourism services in Wangaratta. The new facilities will be wheelchair friendly.
“Wangaratta is considered a Mecca for cyclists in Victoria’s North East,” Mr Ryan said.
“Many of Victoria’s great rides start and finish in Wangaratta including the Murray to Mountain Rail Trail, or journeys into the high mountains to tackle the climbs of Mount Buffalo, Mount Hotham or the challenging roads in and around Bright.
“The creation of the Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub will ensure Wangaratta remains at the head of the peloton when it comes to attracting cyclists to Victoria’s North East.”
Mr McCurdy welcomed the investment and said the CBD cycling hub would provide everything a cyclist needed when embarking on a ride, from the elite cyclists who train in the region, right through to weekend warriors.
“Cyclists can base themselves here knowing that there will be a toilet, warm showers and a place to fill up their water bottles at the start and finish of their ride,” Mr McCurdy said.
“Having a secure place to store their bikes will encourage more cyclists to venture into the CBD before or after their ride for breakfast or lunch, or to have a much needed coffee and cake.
“A facility such as this is rare in regional Victoria, and by supporting this development we are encouraging even more cyclists to the region.
“I am proud to be here today alongside the Deputy Premier to say that The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, are right behind the community in supporting this wonderful initiative.”
Mr McCurdy also thanked the Rural City of Wangaratta which is contributing the remaining $100,000 needed to complete the project.
Mr McCurdy said the Merriwa Park Bicycle Hub Development would be completed by the end of next year. 
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