Another milestone towards the Richmond Vale Rail Trail (RVRT) becoming a reality has been achieved with a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) now on public exhibition.

The proposed trail is a 32km cycling and walking track along the former Richmond Vale railway between Kurri Kurri and Hexham/Shortland.

This regionally significant trail traverses the three Local Government Areas of Newcastle (14.9km), Lake Macquarie (2.7km) and Cessnock, with 14.4km of the trail located in the Cessnock LGA.

To seek relevant development approvals, the trail has been divided into two sections, Shortland to Tarro and Pambalong (Newcastle LGA), and Stockrington to Kurri Kurri (Lake Macquarie and Cessnock LGAs). The Stockrington to Kurri Kurri Section of the rail trail is the focus of this REF and the portion of the trail now on public exhibition.

Cessnock City Council Mayor Jay Suvaal said the REF will take us one step closer to this fantastic project becoming a reality.

“The trail aims to support future growth in the Lower Hunter region, provide a safe alternative for active transport between communities, and provide better recreational access to the local natural environment,” Cr Suvaal said.

“Once complete, the RVRT will provide a safe cycling and walking experience between Kurri Kurri and Newcastle for locals and visitors alike to enjoy,” Cr Suvaal said.

The total estimated cost to complete the RVRT is over $26 million, and its finalisation is subject to grant funding. Council staff will actively seek grant funding opportunities to get this project off the ground.

The RVRT REF is open for feedback until 5pm on Sunday 3 July 2022. For more information, and have your say, visit the Have your say page on our website.

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