A PROMISED extension of the Federation Trail bicycle route remains in limbo after VicRoads revealed it wants to shift stretches of the route onto roads.
Western suburbs councils opposed to the changes are banding together to insist VicRoads finish the works as proposed.
Last week, Hobsons Bay Council confirmed it wants the extension of the Federation Trail from Millers Road, Brooklyn, to Hyde Street/Douglas Parade, Spotswood, to run adjacent to the West Gate Freeway.
A report to the council labelled the altered VicRoads route "indirect and potentially unsafe" and likely to affect residents in streets proposed to become on-road bicycle routes.
"Council officers have strongly argued that an alignment, basically as originally planned, along the West Gate Freeway to the Melbourne-Geelong railway line, then north along this railway line, crossing under it at Stony Creek and then along the south side of the creek to Hyde Street would provide a safe off-road and more direct route."
The council argues this would encourage more cyclists, cutting the number of vehicles on the road. It will write to Roads and Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder on behalf of the Maribyrnong, Brimbank and Wyndham councils, seeking a funding commitment for the preferred alignment.
VicRoads regional director Patricia Liew said the current project included extending the existing trail east from Millers Road and connecting to Fogarty Avenue, providing a three-metre-wide shared path and a bridge over the Newport-Tottenham Rail corridor.
"VicRoads has investigated alternative route options to provide a link within the current funding from the existing path east of Millers Road to Hyde Street/Douglas Parade," she said.
"VicRoads has sought feedback for these options from stakeholders and is assessing the options."
Western suburbs MP Andrew Elsbury said he supported improvements to bicycle infrastructure, but the government had had to make some "tough" budget decisions.
Greens MP Colleen Hartland said the project mustn't be left to languish, and she called on the government to find the additional funding.
Bicycle Victoria is frustrated at the delay in finding a missing link for a route from Werribee River to the city.