Murray Valley concept plan process – Updated

Please see below a brief description of the new process to be undertaken at Murray Valley for the new trails.

Firstly it should be said that this is the first project to be done under the guidelines developed between WAMBA and DPaW, and it is something DPaW want for all trails built on their land. It is a rigorous process designed to ensure there are good outputs. And hopefully it doesn’t add too much cost or time….

Secondly I should also point out the WA MTB Strategy identifies difficult, gravity focused tracks as the first priority to be built in WA. DH is the pinnacle of that so I would expect more black tech trails to be built in the near future than flow trails. In contrast to this obviously DPaW and other land owners are very interested in recreational facilities as these cater for all users – from kids and families and absolue beginners to elite athletes.

Murray Valley mountain bike trails are part of a plan to develop a significant facility for recreational users of the area. In addition trails will be incorporated that will cater to the more experienced riders who are travelling just to ride. The current scope has 3-5 downhill tracks as well as a green climb to the top of the DH tracks and 10-15km of cross country trails. As this is Murray Valley most of the DH trails will be blue – green adn black are also included in the scope. All the detailed information is available below in the tender post.

The guidelines have seven steps, the first four are largely desktop based so I wont discuss them here. Each step is treated separately. Following this there is:

Concept plan – rough areas are identified for the tracks and associated infrastructure. This allows DPaW and other land managers to then ensure there’s no issues with building in that area. They don’t have to look at a massive area, only that of interest. Stakeholders will be consulted during this process – including local government, land owners, local business and selected local riders. Due to timeframes the group will not be large but will consider all varying interest groups. When this is complete its advertised.

Detailed design – This is where the actual track is designed, what berms goes where, what jumps goes here. Where exactly the track starts and finishes. The tracks will be within the area outlined in the concept. Itll be a map. If things go well Murray Valley will be at this stage mid next year. Consultation will be complete prior to this process.

Construction – Where the actual thing gets built finally! The idea is the builder will be following the design and putting the track in. There will have to be some flexibility regarding changes as they come up but we don’t know how that will be structured.

Each step is treated entirely separately with a tender for each stage so potentially there could be three organisations doing each stage.

Time is key so as usual feedback through clubs/ WAMBA/ collectives etc is a good idea as its faster and easier than dealing with thousands of individuals. So Id encourage anyone to get involved. The best time for this is now, prior to the Concept Plan being completed and before detailed design.

Historically most tracks have been built with something like a concept plan, then going straight to construction and working it out. Whilst I don’t think this is a bad way to go at all, this is a new approach that is being trialled and the hope is definitely that it will result in a better outcome. At the end of the day we will probably only know in a couple of years but I’m willing to give it all my effort.

DPaW have been great to deal with so far on this and are really keen to get a great facility going at Murray Valley. WAMBA and Westcycle have driven this from the start so its largely thanks to them this is even happening.

From here I envisage Toms Crossing to happen shortly after Murray Valley and this is where we should expect to see a higher concentration of advanced tracks in alignment with the direction of the WA MTB Strategy. At the same time the SW MP will be working to expand trails in the region south of Perth.

All the while, PDMBC is working hard to maintain and expand track networks at Welli Mills and Nannup – more on those to come.

Lastly, I know I interchange the words track and trail – forgive me!

Anyway sorry for the novel, hit me up with any questions.

Cheers Sam

PDMBC Vice Pres