Charlestown to Whitebridge shared pathway/cycleway

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Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the shared pathway/cycleway options for the Whitebridge section of the planned Charlestown to Whitebridge walking and cycling route.

Feedback closed on Friday 15 December 2023.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the shared pathway/cycleway options for the Whitebridge section of the planned Charlestown to Whitebridge walking and cycling route.

Feedback closed on Friday 15 December 2023.

  • Preferred route selected for Charlestown-Whitebridge shared path

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    Detailed investigations are poised to begin into a major shared pathway linking Charlestown’s CBD with the Fernleigh Track.

    Community consultation earlier this year helped Lake Macquarie City Council settle on a preferred route for the path, which will begin at the corner of Frederick Street and the Pacific Highway before turning down Milson Street, behind Charlestown Swim Centre.

    From there, the route will run through vacant land between Milson Street and Kaleen Street, then continue along Kaleen Street before following a track through bushland to Flora Close next to Whitebridge High School.

    A final stretch along Lonus Avenue and down an existing path on Kopa Street will connect to the Fernleigh Track at Whitebridge.

    Transport Operations Lead Robert Morris said more than 50 per cent of respondents preferred the route to various others tabled during community consultation.

    “A few key themes emerged from the feedback we received, including that this route was quieter, with less traffic, more shade and better scenery,” he said.

    “It was therefore judged as safer, as well as more direct.”

    The route also provides to-the-door active transport options for students at Whitebridge High and Charlestown Public School, while travelling less than 150m from Charlestown East Public School and 100m from Charlestown Swim Centre.

    Mr Morris said the preferred route attracted almost three times as many votes as the next most popular alternative, which veered further south and navigated part of Dudley Road before joining Lonus Avenue.

    Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said Council was committed to rolling out shared pathways and other active transport options across the city.

    “The more of these paths we can build, the better options we will have to get people out of their cars and onto bikes and other forms of transport,” she said.

    “That’s great for congestion, it’s great for the environment, it’s a much healthier alternative, and, particularly these days, it’s much kinder to the hip pocket.”

    Detailed planning on the preferred route is expected to be completed by July next year.

    Mr Morris said the project team would also consider improving safety along the alternative southern route as part of its investigations.

    “Design and construction will be subject to funding, which is weighed up each year against other shared pathway projects across the city,” he said.

    “We’ll keep the community informed as the project progresses.”

    Go to for more information.

  • Options open for new shared path linking Charlestown with Fernleigh Track

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    Planning is underway on a new cycleway linking Charlestown with the landmark Fernleigh Track.

    Public feedback has opened on two suggested routes for the long-awaited off-road path connecting one of the Hunter’s busiest commercial and residential precincts with the region’s longest and most popular shared path.

    Lake Macquarie City Council Transport Operations Lead Robert Morris said community input was a key component of the Charlestown to Whitebridge feasibility study.

    “Feedback from the community will help identify a preferred route that has the greatest benefits for the largest number of people in the community,” he said.

    “Considerations include how direct the route is, potential impacts on residents and the environment, the topography of the land, construction costs and how close the path goes to schools, shops and other services.”

    “We’re very keen to hear from the community about what they think.”

    The northern option starts at Frederick Street at Charlestown, travelling along Milson Street before linking behind homes to Kaleen Street.

    It then links through bush to Flora Close, passes Whitebridge High School and travels down Lonus Avenue to join an existing pathway on Kopa Street leading to the Fernleigh Track.

    The southern option also starts at Frederick Street but turns onto Dickinson Street, connects to Tiral Street and then cuts between Central Charlestown Leagues Club and Charlestown East Public School to Bula Street.

    From there, it runs along Dudley Road before turning onto Lonus Avenue and onto the existing Kopa Street path.

    Mr Morris said a number of variations on those two main routes were also on the table for feedback, along with potential upgrades to road crossings and other infrastructure.

    “It’s very early days, and such a significant project would likely require funding input from other levels of government before anything happened on the ground,” he said.

    “But we wanted to pull in the community now to ensure we have a firm handle on their priorities and any concerns they might have.”

    Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said expanding the city’s walking and cycling routes promoted healthier lifestyles and created realistic alternatives for commuters who would otherwise travel by car.

    “A quarter of people in the community say they would consider cycling for transport if there were better, safer connections,” Cr Fraser said. “We’re committed to providing them.”

    Newcastle Cycleways Movement Vice President Peter Lee said the cycleway would be the first of its kind connecting Charlestown’s commercial and retail centre to the Fernleigh Track, and on to the greater active transport network of Lake Macquarie and Newcastle.

    “We’ve been advocating for an active transport connection between Charlestown, Whitebridge and ultimately Dudley for many years,” he said.

    “We’re pleased that Council is now preparing plans to bring this to fruition. Our primary goals are safe separated connections to the schools, shops and swimming pool along the way.”

    Mr Lee was keen to see the path take advantage of the local bushland setting, highlighting the cultural heritage of the chosen route.

    Once the feasibility study is complete, Council officers will start planning the preferred route.

    Mr Morris said that would include further investigations, such as detailed surveys, geotechnical investigations and environmental impact assessments.

    Go to to have your say before 11 April.

Page last updated: 17 Dec 2023, 11:49 AM