PLANS are being drawn up to fill in the missing links on the Bay Trail between Dromana and McCrae.
Cyclists are forced to leave the trail at the busiest time of the year because of caravans on the foreshore reserve.
Unless they want to push their bikes through the crowded camping area, riders must go on Point Nepean Rd, despite there being no designated bike lane around the cliff base at Anthony’s Nose.
A draft plan for the Bay Trail to be made alongside the road on the outside of the camping reserve will be released in July.
Mornington Peninsula’s Shire’s infrastructure strategy manager Alison Leighton said construction of the trail will depend on state government funding.
The shire’s Bay Trail Missing Links Project is aimed at giving high priority to filling in the missing sections of the Bay Trail.
“The section from Dromana to McCrae around Anthony’s Nose has been identified as being a high priority for completion and significant work has been undertaken to progress the trail at this location,” Ms Leighton said.
“This work has included identifying the appropriate alignment, consulting with a range of parties – Dromana Foreshore Committee of Management, Peninsula Power Boat Club, VicRoads and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries – and completing a detailed cultural heritage assessment.”
The plans being drawn up propose that the trail follows the seawall from the McCrae foreshore reserve to the Dromana boat ramp and then runs next to the road from the boat ramp to the Dromana boat hire car park.
“It is hoped that the concept plan will be completed by late July, 2014. The plan will then be used to undertake further community engagement and seek Coastal Management Plan Act consent.
Under present arrangements bikes are banned from the 47-site camping area from the start of December to the end of April.
While the camping ground is narrow the income it generates is vital to Dromana Foreshore Committee.
Portables, or sheds, are erected next to caravans on camping sites that are booked mostly by the same people for five months, year to year. Campers pay $2700 for their prime-positioned sites.
Plans by the former Labor state government ensure that at least 10 per cent of all camping sites by “improving equity of access” have been put on hold by the current Liberal government.
Many of the “campers” are members of the Peninsula Power Boat Club, which has been operating the adjacent boat ramp under license from the foreshore committee since 1957.
The foreshore committee has suggested moving Point Nepean Rd seven metres inland into Latrobe Reserve to allow the missing one kilometre of Bay Trail to be built alongside the camping area.
Ron Elleray, chairman of the foreshore committee’s caravan park committee, last year predicted the Bay Trail would go alongside Point Nepean Rd.
“The caravan park can’t be closed because we rely on the income from the campers,” he said.
“It’s a known fact there are [safety] problems with cyclists and pedestrians, but there is no Bay Trail through the camping ground.
He said the foreshore committee did not want the trail going either through or alongside the camping ground until a decision had been made on how it would be built around Anthonys Nose.
“There is no point sending people through to the boat ramp area if the trail doesn’t go past Anthonys Nose.”