Road safety bike park opens in Manilla | Photos

ON YOUR BIKES: Kids test out the new road safety park in Manilla. It officially opened on Sunday after 18 months in the works. Photo: Contributed

ON YOUR BIKES: Kids test out the new road safety park in Manilla. It officially opened on Sunday after 18 months in the works. Photo: Contributed

A LOCAL community has rallied together for almost two years to deliver a new park for its kids. 

On Sunday, that dream was realised when Manilla’s $65,000 road safety bike park officially opened.

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said the 100-plus locals who attended the opening were testament to the need for developing facilities and infrastructure in the shire’s smaller villages.

“Activities for kids in Manilla are quite limited,” he said.

“This is near the (existing) playground… so it’s becoming a real family precinct.

“It shows how important it is for a community to get behind things.”

The new community park, located within Chaffey Park, works by simulating road scenarios for kids on bikes and scooters to learn from.

The idea for the park was conceived and posted on Regional Australia Bank’s Heart of Our Community website, which acts as a conduit for connecting people, businesses and the community.

The website allows community groups to post an idea and win support from other like-minded locals, who vote and comment on the idea.

Regional Australia Bank branch supervisor Lynne Cook said the idea for a road safety bike park posted on the site quickly gained traction, with more than 400 people voting for it online and via a paper-based petition.

“Because the idea had such a strong following, we contributed $8,000 to the idea overall, and we’re thrilled to have been a part of this journey,” Ms Cook said.

“Local organisations such as the Lions Club, Tamworth Regional Council, the Community Building Partnership Program, Steggles and individuals worked together to achieve a common goal, and that’s what Heart of our Community is all about.

“It is a wonderful park for kids to learn road skills, and it’s a perfect example of our commitment drive to nurture safe and prosperous communities.”

Lynne Cooke, who was on the project committee, said the new bike park and the spirit behind its development was at the heart of what the Manilla community is all about.

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