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Help save Quarry Road Track!

Tristania's picture

By Tristania - Posted on 16 August 2014

Following my previous post regarding the apparent closure of two sections of the Quarry Road Track linking Dural from Hornsby, all SNORC members have received and email from them, and are paging all riders with a passion for preserving tracks to take some more action (in the midst of action for the building of other tracks):

"Dear XXXXX,

Berowra Valley Quarry Trail suddenly closed????

Here are the facts you need to know in order to still ride safely and legally.
Many of you have ridden from Stewart Avenue in Hornsby, down into the wonderful Berowra Valley, across the historic bridge and up up up to Quarry Road Dural. It is a legendary ride and thousands have been enjoying it for decades. Our club has been inundated with complaints ad questions about what's going on. So after some research here is what we found out.

There are a couple of locations along this road that have always been within the safety zone and only accessible if rifles aren't being used. So the closure is not new, it's just never been very well communicated or signposted. We called the phone number on the sign 0417 201 606 and spoke to the Rifle Range to find out the facts. Here's what we found out.

- the rifle range hours are restricted to 9AM to 4:30PM seven days per week. Therefore it is safe to ride outside these hours and you do not need to call. Inside these hours, you can call and find out if its okay to ride. You will find that there is plenty of opportunity during Monday to Friday but weekends can be busy.
- there is a small bore rifle club that operate after 4:30. This does not pose a danger and so do not be alarmed if you hear rifle fire after 4:30 and you are on the track.

The Future - this is where we need help.

SNORC has also requested that NPWS consider adding safe links which are totally doable (NPWS responded and told us to talk to the Rifle Range about this - which we did).

The Rifle Range has submitted plans to NPWS to move the trail to safe locations (basically the exact same suggestions we made). So now they are awaiting NPWS to respond to this plan.

SNORC will raise this with the NPWS Mtb Stakeholder group.

The Rifle Range said that if NPWS do not allow the trails to be relocated, then they will need to build large padlocked barriers to prevent any traffic entering the trails. This could occur within a year!

Can we please urge you to write to NPWS expressing your sadness in losing access to this trail and ask that they act on the plans to relocate the trails as per what's been put to them.

Michele Cooper - Area Manager
NPWS Valleys Area Mailbox"

Tristania's picture


I have been informed by Sydney North Off Road Cyclists that you are the area manager for the Berowra Valley Region and am writing to you in regards to my concerns about the recent new signage that has gone up in sections of the Quarry Road Track that are in the rifle range areas the currently are restricting access to sections of the track. The information that I have received is that currently the range hours is 9am-4:30pm, and there is hence no danger being on the track out of these hours, and one can ring the signposted number to check availability outside these hours. However, I am also under the impression of the possibility of NWPS installing a large gate at the range boundaries which will prevent access at all times.

Firstly, I am concerned that the information given on the signs is misleading. The trackhead sign says "The Hornsby Rifle Range may be use at any time and all persons are excluded from entering the danger area without permission." Considering that the range authorities state that shooting only occurs in the above hours, would it not be sensible to instead to state these hours on the signage and then call to check availability inside these hours? Upon a glance at the signs, one would be under the impression that access is denied at all times, and upon examining other information, this simply does not seem to be the case, and it seems like this could result in people being turned away from riding or walking on the track at a time when, in reality, there is no danger.

Secondly, I would like to question the purpose of putting padlocked barriers at the range boundaries if an alternative route is not devised. I have been informed that both SNORC and the range are paging for another track to be built around the danger area, but I know that whether it is fire trail or singletrack, it will be timely and costly, so have a feeling that doing so will be costly. This seems to me that it will cause more harm than good, as in the legal hours, it will then block access to the track (unless someone is employed to open and shut them every day) completely. Additionally, unless the barriers are made extremely high and wide, people who are determined will climb around them, defeating the purpose of their existence.

I am a 20 year old electrical engineering student who uses cycling as a stress relief from my course and hope to become an elite mountain bike racer in the coming years. Much of my love and talent for the sport has been a result of the existence of the QRT 5km from my house, for the exhilarating descents and fitness improvement due to the climbs, and have ridden the track once every one or two weeks for the past five years. I have taken many people on this track since and know that is has improved immeasurably the fitness of many people, cyclists, runners and walkers alike, and the prospect of the use of the track being hindered is distressing.

I appreciate NPWS putting measures in place to protect the public of projectiles, and on behalf of many others, wish to thank those who were responsible for the new Oaks Singletrack, and know that this has helped close the gap between mountain bikers and national parks, and would like to express my support, on behalf of all Sydney cyclists, that NPWS reconsider their plans for QRT and come up with a solution to the issue that still allows some form of access between Dural and Hornsby in a safe and legal manner.

Regards, Tristan White"

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