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Mount Gambier locals welcome extensions and lighting installations to the Rail Trail that runs through the city along the former railway line.
The City of Mount Gambier has secured $800,000 from the state government to extend the path and install solar lighting along the 11.3-kilometre track.
The extension is a two-kilometre addition between Wandilo Road and the TAFE and Uni SA campuses on Wireless Road West.
Acting chief executive officer Barbara Cernovskis said it was pleasing to be able to install solar lights along the trail's entire length.
"This will encourage further use of the path for the health and wellbeing of the community and reduce the use of vehicles within the city," she said.
Welcomed by localsThe move to install lighting along the whole path has been welcomed by Mount Gambier running coach Adam Baker.
The Rail Trail ends at the corner of Wandilo Road and Wireless Road West, seen in the bottom right hand corner of this picture.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham
)He said it was “just fantastic”.
“It just opens up the whole rail trail for everyone to use.
“You see so many people out and about at the night-time, like riding bikes through and families out pushing prams and kids on scooters.
“It will just be so much better having the whole lot light up rather than having to just stick to the one area,” Mr Baker said.
The Railway Lands is the only part of the 11.3-kilometre Rail Trail that currently has lighting. (ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham
)He said it will make a big difference, especially for dark evenings over the winter months.
“There’s so many people that actually do use the Rail Trail, but you know, a lot of them obviously don't run during the darker times, or they have to run with a head light.
“So much safer too, you’ll feel safer.”
University of South Australia regional manager Ian McKay said it was a "terrific step ahead".
"For TAFE and Uni SA students who do cycle to classes, the extension of the rail trail will be really appreciated.
Ian McKay says it will hopefully encourage more local students to cycle or walk to classes.(Facebook: Uni SA
)"It will provide a safe corridor for their commute from home to their studies so I think it's a great move forward and it probably will encourage more students from both campuses to cycle."
A project report will be presented to the City of Mount Gambier council next month.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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