Newcastle Cycleways Movement popular

PATH PLEA: Newcastle Cycleways Movement's Bernard Hocking.
PATH PLEA: Newcastle Cycleways Movement's Bernard Hocking.

NEWCASTLE Cycleways Movement has gained the support of high-profile organisations calling for the state government to spend earnings from the lease of Newcastle port on a cycle network.

Hunter Medicare Local, the NSW Heart Foundation, Newcastle University's Tom Farrell Institute and the NRMA have all backed plans to turn Newcastle into the "cycling capital of Australia".

Newcastle Cycleways Movement wants to create a regional network of cycleways that connect suburbs across the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas.

The cost of the CycleSafe Network is estimated to be about $50 million, with one-kilometre sections costing anywhere between $5000 and $1 million.

Newcastle council has already committed to spend $15 million on the city's cycleways over the next 10 years.

But plans for an inner city CBD network have stalled, with staff waiting for more details on how the new light rail network will affect Hunter Street and the existing rail corridor.

The council was forced into a redesign of the CBD cycleway network after the state government decided to truncate the heavy rail and run light rail down part of Hunter Street.