Hills' footpaths set for an early arrival

IT'S not every day footpaths get built sooner than later.

But The Hills deputy mayor Andrew Jefferies is chuffed to say not one but seven footpaths will be brought forward to this financial year — instead of being built in 2015, as was originally planned.

"There's four in my ward [east ward] — three in Carlingford and one in North Rocks," Cr Jefferies said with reference to footpaths to be built in Arcadian Circuit, Carlingford; Edinburgh Avenue, Carlingford; Haines Avenue, Carlingford; and Lawndale Avenue, North Rocks.

Because of its strong financial position, the council was able last year to set aside more than $8 million in the Hills Shire Plan 2013-2017 for 47 kilometres of footpaths.

Mayor Michelle Byrne said when the 2013-14 footpath program was completed well ahead of schedule, councillors decided to move some money around in the budget to start next year's construction program now.

Cr Jefferies said: "We're two years ahead on some of these footpaths, thanks to a mixture of savings from the footpaths we already delivered — they cost below what we'd budgeted for — but also the fact we've got a capacity and opportunity to do this in the fourth quarter of this year.

"These are all community requests, particularly in east ward where there's a strong view there was a need to build footpaths.

"The construction of the new paths in Arcadian Circuit and Edinburgh Avenue will provide easier access for local residents to get to Kingsdene Shops, Carlingford West Public School and Peggy Womersley Reserve.

"Haines Avenue links up to Jenny Place, North Rocks shops, Murray Farm Public School, Murray Farm Oval, and the one in North Rocks is a better link again to North Rocks shops and North Rocks Primary."

■ How footpaths get ranked: The Hills Shire Plan 2013-2017 ranking criteria for footpaths gives highest priority to location, specifically if the area is within 500 metres of a school with more than 100 students or 500 metres of a major sporting complex.

Work between now and June 30:

■ Arcadian Circuit, Carlingford;

■ Bass Drive, Baulkham Hills;

■ Blackett Drive, Castle Hill;

■ Edinburgh Avenue, Carlingford;

■ Haines Avenue, Carlingford;

■ Lawndale Avenue, North Rocks; and

■ Wrights Road, Kellyville.

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