FAQs regarding bike track temporary closure
Just got this, no doubt lots of others will get one of these in the email shortly too.
Manly Warringah War Memorial Park
FAQs regarding bike track temporary closure
Monday 22 February 2010
What is happening?
It has come to Warringah Council's attention that parts of the shared track around Manly Dam are not technically approved for bike riding and as such, Council had no choice but to close those stretches of track to riders until the Plan of Management has reviewed bike riding in the park.
There are three stretches of track affected and the stretches of track affect a total of 2.17km of the circuit. Under the current Plan of Management bike riding is restricted to public roads, car parks and fire trails and includes the opportunity to use fire breaks. The narrow stretches of bush track, where riders have previously been asked to dismount when approaching bushwalkers, are not authorised for bike riding by the Plan of Management.
Signs were installed at each end of the affected sections saying ‘bike riding prohibited’. Adhesive stickers will also be added to maps of the Manly Dam, highlighting the sections of track that have been closed to bike riders.
It is anticipated Council will consider the temporary closure of the track for mountain bikers and the review of the Manly Warringah War Memorial Park Plan of Management at the Council meeting of 23 February 2010.
In the event there is a review undertaken of the Plan of Management the review process will canvas the views of all stakeholders regarding the appropriate future management of the Manly Warringah War Memorial Park, which is an important environmental and recreational asset for the community.
It is anticipated this process will take at least six months.
When does the ban start?
The track was closed on Friday February 12 following development of signage and communications planning. The announcement was circulated to all the stakeholders involved by emailing the press release, and signage was placed on the closed track on that day.
How long will the sections of track be closed for?
Council regrets the inconvenience to bike riders. Council is looking at all possibilities for providing safe access for bike riders. Currently the sections of track will be closed to bike riders until the Plan of Management for Manly Dam has reviewed bike riding in the park. It is understood that Councillors will consider the extent of a review of the Plan of Management at Council’s meeting on 23 March 2010.
A review of the Plan of Management is a very extensive public engagement exercise involving all interested groups in the community. It is anticipated this process will take at least six months.
Why has this happened now?
It has happened for two reasons - Council is concerned about safety issues and following a review of the Plan of Management, also became aware that parts of the recreational track around Manly Dam are not approved for bike riding and as such, had no choice but to close those stretches of track to riders until the Plan of Management has reviewed bike riding in the park.
The narrow stretches of bush track which were considered to be unsafe were closed as soon as practical following the council briefing.
Council as a public authority and manager of land is under a duty of care at common law to take all reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable risks of injury to visitors lawfully using land for which it is responsible. This duty applies particularly if Council has actively encouraged and invited specific recreational uses as it has in relation to walkers and bike riders at Manly Dam. Further, if a specific risk of injury is brought to Council’s attention it is imperative that Council can demonstrate that it has considered how to best manage that risk and has then taken reasonable steps to do so.
Will Council be policing the bans and handing out fines?
Council will be monitoring the sections of track closed to bike riders.
Are you expecting bike riders to use the Wakehurst Parkway instead?
We are not in a position to recommend any alternate routes and naturally Council regrets the inconvenience caused to bike riders. Bike riders will have to make arrangements for starting and finishing where the track is no longer connected, similar to other tracks that do not provide a circuit.
Is the track still open to bushwalkers?
Yes it is.
What is a Plan of Management?
A Plan of Management provides a framework for managing public land. It sets a direction which Council and the Community have developed through consultation and research.