Dennington's old rail line wasted, say residents

FRUSTRATED Dennington residents say the town’s old railway line is growing weeds and gathering rubbish instead of being used as a walking and cycling route.

They’ve improvised a path by tramping through grass to the new supermarket plaza and put a makeshift ramp over the rail line for prams, cyclists and pedestrians .

Their frustration was shared at a recent meeting of the Dennington Community Association attended by city councillor Kylie Gaston, who aired the issue at this week’s council meeting.

“Residents have made their own path over the rail track to get to the shopping centre and there’s a ramp so prams can get over,” she said.

“I have seen designs for a new pedestrian path and would like to advocate for us to look at it in our budget discussions.”

Association president David Kelson said there was opportunity to use the old rail route to link with the Warrnambool to Port Fairy rail trail at one end and the city footpath network at the other.

“If the council and VicTrack can look at it and at least start planning there’s a chance something will get built,” he said. 

“With the new North Dennington residential precinct there will be a track around the river. It could join the old rail line.

“The old Dennington rail station hasn’t been used for 30 years and has great potential for parking and public open space.

“Everyone agrees there is potential, but it all comes back to funding and approval.

“The improvised path to the plaza is probably a bit dangerous at night and not really appealing for women with prams.”

Cr Gaston said a walking/biking link made good healthy sense.

“The open space rail corridor that is being talked about is planned for as part of the North Dennington structure plan adopted by council early this year,” she said.

“We would love to do all of what is being suggested — it will all come down to budget priorities.

“VicTrack supports concepts of what we are looking at — we just need to enter into formal lease agreements etc.” 

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