Bicycle NSW supports the efforts to transform disused railway tracks into rail trails, because it enables more people to ride, walk and access areas with prams, mobility scooters and wheelchairs. Rail trails also preserve transport corridors for the future, when running trains isn’t economically viable.
Rail Trail Benefits
In addition to these benefits for locals, developing rail trails can provide a source of jobs and revenue through attracting visitors. Rail Trails for NSW used the phrase ‘wallets on wheels’ to explain the value that visiting bike riders offer to communities considering a rail trail.
There are many benefits of bike riding, but bike based tourism and businesses have never been more important than now. COVID-19 has put a stop to most international tourism, but bike shops are selling out and people are searching for local holidays and places to ride.
“Rural and regional NSW has depended on visitors from across the country and around the world to keep local businesses vibrant,” said Bicycle NSW Communications Manager, Kim Lavender.
“Investing in a rail trail creates active recreation opportunities for communities, the chance to attract visitors and create jobs,” said Kim.
But any ‘wallet on wheels’ will only go where there’s a place to ride. If you don’t build it, the tourists can’t come.