Wellington's Bell River bridge to be replaced, walking track developed: Dubbo Regional Council

Mayor Ben Shields.
Mayor Ben Shields.

A CBD walking track which includes a new pedestrian bridge across the Bell River could soon be established in Wellington.

Dubbo Regional Council is developing a masterplan for a walking track around the CBD. As part of the plan, mayor Ben Shields doesn’t want the old bridge repaired. Rather, he is pushing for the development of a new pedestrian bridge which would be accessible for people with limited mobility.

The current bridge has been closed for safety reasons. Cr Shields said it was a “terrible shame” that the Cameron Park bridge hadn’t been repaired.

“It’s certainly something that should never have taken this long to get done. I certainly would have liked to have it during the Branched Out event,” Cr Shields said.

“And I think it will also add to the economic growth at Wellington as well.”

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Councillor David Grant said the bridge would allow for better connectivity throughout the CBD.

“We need to link the CBD with our sporting grounds which ultimately links with our showground. People don’t realise it’s only 600 metres from our CBD to our showground but people will drive that 600 metres instead of walking,” Cr Grant said.

Councillor John Ryan said when pedestrians were no longer able to use bridge over the Bell River it had a “profound” affect on the connectivity between the sporting grounds and the CBD.

Council will look at applying for government grants to fund the accessible bridge and walking track.

A walking track similar to the Tracker Riley Cycleway in Dubbo would also provide Wellington residents with fitness opportunities, Cr Grant said.

More than 500 people take part in parkrun in Dubbo on Saturday mornings and Cr Grant said he could envisage 100 or 200 people in Wellington walking or running around a new track in Wellington.

A masterplan for the walking track and bridge which will be developed, then presented to council in March.