OUTDOORS: Bikeway plans are in place for the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.
OUTDOORS: Bikeway plans are in place for the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.

Rail Trail changes going ahead despite mixed results from users

MORE than 1500 people have weighed in on surveys regarding plans to install a new bikeway along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.

Two surveys were carried out, one hosted online at the Somerset Regional Council website, and the other a Fernvale business-house survey.

Somerset mayor Graeme Lehmann said 76 per cent of the online survey respondents lived outside the region, with some responses coming from as far afield as Melbourne and Cairns.

"A total of 367 people expressed negative views about the proposal, while 133 were in favour," Cr Lehmann said.

In contrast, the regional survey showed far more support for the plan.

"The local business-house survey showed significant support for the proposal, with 667 in favour and 357 against," Cr Lehmann said.

"Somerset's population will hit about 34,000 people in the next 10 years or so, and council is here to represent the current and future interests of residents of the Somerset Regional Council area."

Despite the mixed results, the mayor said council intends to push forward with the bikeway.

"We will seek a 10-year construction licence from the state for the Fernvale to Pine Mountain section of the trail, during which time we will pursue external funding to seal the section."

He said the aim of the sealed bikeway was to provide a safe, stable path for those wishing to use the Rail Trail.

"The trail is a State Government asset and Somerset residents rightfully expect they should have safe transport connections like the rest of southeast Queensland," he said.

"You cannot safely ride a bike on State Highway 17 from Fernvale."