What is a concept plan?

    A concept plan is a design drawing. It outlines areas where different things will happen without going into details like the specifications needed for construction purposes.

    What is supporting infrastructure?

    It includes things like parking, transport, waste, traffic management and amenities such as toilets.

    What are you proposing to build?

    The draft concept plan shows what we are proposing and where it could be located. Some of what is proposed includes:

    • Creating additional car parking and a new footpath near Wollongong Motorcycle Club beside Harry Graham Drive
    • Kerb and intersection improvements at the entry and exit of the Wollongong Motorcycle Club
    • Some improvements to the existing unsealed gravel car park near the Wollongong Motorcycle Club, including a retaining wall and some planting to stabilise the existing embankment
    • New blade signage at the intersection to the Wollongong Motorcycle Club to assist with wayfinding
    • New wayfinding signage to the new mountain bike trails being designed and built by NPWS
    • Amenities are planned to be designed and constructed by NPWS on NPWS land adjacent to the water tank access road
    • Cycling crossing warning signage with associated line and pavement marking to highlight specific mountain bike entries and crossing points
    • Future improvements to the trail entry and exit on Harry Graham Drive within the road reserve to create a space for cyclists as they enter and exit the proposed mountain bike trails

    Near the Bowling Club, we’re proposing:

    • A sealed car park with accessible parking
    • A new pedestrian pathway along Harry Graham Drive and Church Lane to link the proposed car parking and the Bowling Club
    • A gravel car park on Harry Graham Drive adjacent to the existing bowling green, with sandstone blocks to retain the carpark
    • Safety fencing/barriers as required to the edge of the informal car parking near the Bowling Club
    • New wayfinding signage and trail entry/exits

    There are also sites identified for potential locations for shuttles for riders to be dropped off and picked up to access the mountain bike network in the future. The exact location for amenities and other end-of-trip facilities such as bike parking and water bottle filling at Kembla Heights village is still to be determined.

    Why aren’t other areas of the trail network included in this draft concept plan?

    This draft plan focuses on the section of Harry Graham Drive in Kembla Heights where NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) are doing the first stage of works on the trail. NPWS are still working through further planning and approvals for the other sections of the network in Mount Kembla. When we have more information about those, we’ll share it with the community.

    What factors have you considered in developing this design?

    We’ve had conversations with people in the Mount Kembla and Kembla Heights community since 2021 about what types of supporting infrastructure might be needed to support the trail network and where it could be located. This supporting infrastructure is intended to minimise impacts on residents and create safe and accessible riding experiences. To create this draft concept plan, we’ve used the feedback we’ve heard, as well as a traffic study that looks at transport, and how people arrive to and leave the site.

    The key findings of the traffic study determined that:

    • When fully completed, the proposed trails could attract up to 35,000 annual visitors, with approximately 240 daily visitors on weekends/during peak holiday periods.
    • The peak parking demand is estimated at 100 parking spaces, with key sites to accommodate parking identified at O’Briens Drift (under investigation for land availability), Kembla Heights Bowling Club, Wollongong Motorcycle Club, and Byarong Park/Mount Keira Road.
    • The traffic generated by visitors to key roads and intersections would not impact the operation of the road network, or contribute to significant delays or queuing, even on peak days.
    • Benjamin Road is not suitable for visitor parking and as such no infrastructure is proposed here. Council and NPWS will monitor the use of Benjamin Road during proposed trail openings to maintain safety and residential amenity in Benjamin Road.
    • Road crossings for cyclists designed with signs, line, and pavement markings to delineate and provide advance warning to motorists of cyclist crossing points, or trail entry and exits.
    • The use of the Harry Graham Drive and Mount Keira Road by riders to provide connectivity between key parts of the trail network is in full compliance with the NSW Road Act.

    NPWS will monitor usage and visitor numbers of the trail network once it has opened and consider whether any additional infrastructure is needed to meet future peak visitor demands.

    When are you proposing to build the supporting infrastructure and how long will it take?

    Once the design for the supporting infrastructure is complete (in Winter this year), we will be able to confirm when the works will start, but it will likely be in Spring 2023. The works will be done in stages, starting at the Motorcycle and Bowling Club sites. Supporting infrastructure for the other areas will be delivered in later stages, pending the availability of funds. With good weather, these could be finished by the end of the year. We’ll then progress to the other sites on the plan and do those across the following two years. Those who are impacted by the works will be notified before they start, so we can look at ways to minimise (reduce) the impacts.

    Who is responsible for the delivery of the trails and supporting infrastructure?

    NPWS and Council and are working together to deliver the trail network and supporting infrastructure. Some aspects are the responsibility of Council, such as designing and building parking facilities, trail access and traffic management. Other aspects are the responsibility of NPWS, such as the trail design, approvals and construction of the trails. Stage 1 of the trail construction is programmed to start during Winter this year.

    Can I provide feedback on the trails?

    NPWS share updates and opportunities to provide feedback on their work to progress the trail network on their website. You can view the Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Strategy and register for updates at environment.nsw.gov.au.

    How will my feedback to Council be used?

    At the end of the engagement period, all feedback is read and considered. A report will be produced and provided to Councillors and NPWS. A summary of the feedback we’ve heard will be shared on our website. We’ll use feedback to complete the design.

    How can I join the conversation?

    • Write to: Engagement team, Locked Bag 8821, Wollongong DC 2500 
    • Phone (02) 4227 7111
    • Email engagement@wollongong.nsw.gov.au