Safety concerns prompt new calls for bike track reopening

Safety concerns have pushed cyclists to renew their calls for the Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan mountain bike track to be reopened.

The mountain bike track has been closed since May 2017 due to the removal of dense infestations of the African Olive weed.

Avid cyclist Bart Holman said the closure of the track was disappointing for many local riders.

He said it was becoming harder for riders to navigate Macarthur’s busy roads.

“There is always a bit of danger when your riding with traffic but as Bradbury and other areas continue to grow it is getting more dangerous,” the Bradbury resident said.

“I know a lot of other people who have stopped riding because they felt unsafe riding in the area.”

Mr Holman said the Mount Annan track was the only dedicated mountain bike track in the region.

“Some people travel to Heathcote just to use the track because there aren’t any tracks out here now,” he said.

“The Mount Annan track was great – it was really popular with local riders and much safer than riding along the road.”

Mr Holman said he had even offered to help the Botanic Gardens with the rebuilding of the track personally.

An Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan spokeswoman said a lack of funding was the reason the track remained closed.

“Works to remove the weed have had a far greater impact on the mountain bike track than expected,” she said.

“The site is currently unsafe and in need of significant restoration. 

“The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan are investigating opportunities for funding to assist with the rehabilitation process, to allow the reopening of the mountain bike track.”

In February, more than 2000 people signed a petition to reopen the popular track.

A local mountain bike enthusiast, who asked not to be named, told the Advertiserlast year the track’s closure was concerning for riders across Sydney.

“When it was first closed we were told it would only take four weeks for it to reopen – that was in May last year,” he said.

“People travelled from everywhere to visit the track.

“People have even offered to help the [Botanic Gardens team] rebuild the track.

“We just want to see [the state government] allocate the money to open the track again.”