• community

    Your Voice Our Coast

Mountain Bike Feasibility Study
Consultation for this project has now concluded.

With participation in mountain bike (MTB) riding as both a sport and a recreation increasing, and demand for suitable areas to ride growing, it is important to plan ahead in a sustainable way.

While Council provides for MTB riding on fire and management trail systems in its natural reserves, a number of unauthorised trails have also been constructed in some reserves. The construction of unauthorised MTB trails poses environmental, heritage and reputational risk to Council in terms of legislation, community expectations and the experience of other reserve users. Unauthorised MTB trails may also pose a risk to riders where construction is poor or where the level of difficulty is unknown to the rider.

In light of this, we’re undertaking a Mountain Bike Feasibility Study, which will assist in planning for recreation in Council’s natural reserves.

By identifying the role that Council’s natural reserves may play in the provision of mountain biking experiences across the Central Coast, Council will be better able to protect areas of high conservation and heritage value, minimise the key drivers for the building of unauthorised trail construction and maximise the safe use of Council reserves by all visitors.

Phase 1 – Understanding MTB riding on the Coast

We developed an online survey to help understand current community views, demand, utilisation, opportunities and risks for MTB riding on the Central Coast. We encouraged everyone to respond to the survey and to provide feedback by 2 July 2019 – from all Coastie community members and visitors, including MTB riders, environmentalists and nature reserve users.

We also completed a supply analysis of MTB trails and facilities across the Central Coast region.

Phase 2 – Review information gathered

We are now reviewing the data gathered from the first phase of the Mountain Bike Feasibility Study, before a discussion paper is produced and made available to the public.

Closed
Document Library

More Documents

2
Under Review

Demand analysis, benchmarking and opportunities will be assessed.

×
Who's listening
Name
Sharyn Styman Environmental Officer
Phone
1300 463 954

What is a feasibility study?

A feasibility study is an assessment of whether a project is viable or not. Specifically for this project, it is to understand the feasibility of providing MTB trails and riding opportunities within the Central Coast region that are safe for users of the natural reserve and MTB riders – all while protecting areas of high conservation and heritage value and minimising the key drivers for the building of unauthorised trail construction.

Why is Council undertaking a feasibility study for mountain biking?

MTB riding is a growing sport. Participation in the activity as nature-based recreation is increasing and demand for suitable areas to ride is also growing.  Many riders are looking for forest trails and natural areas to ride through in the same way residents seek bushwalking opportunities. 

While Council provides for MTB riding on fire and management trail systems in its natural reserves, a number of unauthorised trails have also been constructed in some reserves. The construction of unauthorised MTB trails poses environmental and reputational risk to Council in terms of legislation, community expectations and the experience of other reserve users.  Unauthorised MTB trails may also pose a risk to riders where construction is poor or where the level of difficulty is unknown to the rider. 

With rising demand for this recreation activity it is important to plan ahead for provision in a sustainable way that not only protects sensitive areas, but also provides new opportunities for the community and enhances nature-based tourism in the region. Many councils are planning and providing MTB trails to meet community needs and, in some cases to expand the tourism appeal of their region. MTB-based tourism can bring a new market, one that is focused on nature based recreation and that values protection of the natural environment.

MTB riders involve a broad section of the community including many families, young people and adults, and as such, there are a number of MTB riding opportunities sought including: descent trails, cross country riding and skills. The majority of demand is recreational, but there are also club-based competitions and skill development that require specific tracks.

What is the aim of the feasibility study?

The aims of the Mountain Biking Feasibility Study are to assist in planning for recreation in Council’s natural reserves by:

  • Identify the role that Council’s natural reserves may play in the provision of mountain biking experiences across the Central Coast
  • Protecting areas of high conservation and heritage value
  • Minimising the key drivers for the building of unauthorised trails
  • Maximising the safe use of Council reserves by all visitors.

Please note that this project relates to MTB riding and does not include trail bikes, motorbikes etc.

Who should complete the survey?

We want to hear from everyone – from all Coastie community members and visitors, through to MTB riders, environmentalists, and nature reserve users. You are all encouraged to respond to the survey to provide feedback.

What is the purpose of the survey?

The purpose of the survey is to:

  • Understand the current demand, utilisation, opportunities and risks for MTB riding on the Central Coast.
  • Understand the current views of the community with regard to MTB riding on the Central Coast.

What are the next steps in the feasibility study?

The project requires several key steps of which engagement with the community is a key component. Following this engagement phase, a demand analysis and opportunities will be assessed with a discussion paper to be produced.  It is hoped that the discussion paper will be available for public release towards the end of 2019.

You may also be interested in

Get the latest news