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As the debate over the North-East Railway Corridor enters its third year, community opinions on its best use remain on both sides of the track.
In a poll conducted by The Examiner, about 65 per cent of respondents voted in favour of a heritage rail, while about 19 per cent supported a cycleway.
About 16 per cent supported the option of a compromise, which would allow for both.
More than 400 people took part in the poll.
The results are in-line with a similar poll conducted by The Examiner in July last year, when about 70 per cent of respondents were in favour of a heritage rail.
Responding to the latest poll, many Examiner readers took to social media to voice their opinions.
Alan Woodland asked if Tasmania was “overdoing it a bit with the bike trails”.
“Seems to be plenty already throughout the state,” he said.
“Maybe diversify tourist options more, get the numbers into the North east via train.”
Warren McDonough suggested the health benefits of a cycleway.
“Open your eyes to the future and the huge interest in bike packing, bike touring and cycle tourism all over the world,” he said.
“The benefits to health are obvious over a carbon-spewing loco and would not be bad for the states fragile economical health either.”
Jacqueline Shipton questioned what other options might work.
“A rail service is a lovely dream, but I’m afraid the financial viability is really not realistic,” she said.
“Do we need a bike trail? Probably not. Surely there are other options available such as pedal rail casts for hire?”
The Legislative Council tasked with examining the feasibility of a heritage passenger rail service verses a bike trail, commenced public hearings on Tuesday.
Over the next few months, it is expected to hear evidence in relation to 64 public submissions.
This article first appeared on www.examiner.com.au
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