Backlash has followed council’s decision to endorse its planned cycle routes on Monday.
It comes as Wagga residents claim more public consultation was required.
The state government funded Active Travel Plan was approved in January, with the proposal including an almost 50-kilometre long cycle network, connecting the city.
The $11 million initiative includes five major routes; a Central Link (commencing at Bourkelands), a Kapooka Link (commencing at Kapooka), a South Link (commencing at Lake Albert), a North Link (commencing at CSU) and a Forest Hill Link.
A public exhibition period gave Wagga residents the opportunity to have their say, with results giving council staff feedback regarding these five pathways and additional connector links.
But Rail Trail proponent Lisa Glastonbury said the timeframe was too short, with only 250 feedback submissions received across two weeks in June.
Council said the tight turnaround was due to time constraints, with a project completion deadline of two years.
“People, who are not across the issue, would not have had an opportunity to participate in the consultation phase,” Ms Glastonbury said. “That is not ideal.”
However, she said there were enough responses outlining Forest Hill link concerns to warrant further investigation.
According to council’s meeting agenda, 65 submissions had supported the use of the disused rail corridor as an alternative to the originally proposed southern alignment, which would take riders toward Lake Albert, before swinging east.
While 12 submissions were against the use of the rail corridor for the eastern link, a further two petitions were received, with 60 signatures calling for the use of the corridor.
Despite the feedback, financial and time-related issues were cited as reasons to go ahead with the path as planned.
It was a decision Ms Glastonbury said ignored the opinion of the majority and could potentially result in “a big waste of public funds”.
“It does not meet current needs and it’s not going to bring in new people who want to ride it, so it absolutely defeats the purpose,” she said.
“It’s not direct … cyclists are just going to continue riding along (Sturt Highway) and there are no links to the eastern industrial areas, which is a waste.”
As a voice of reassurance, councillor Kerry Pascoe said the decisions made on Monday night would not be set in stone.
Cr Pascoe said Monday night was about coming up with a document to present to the NSW government, outlining planned spending of the grant money.
“We have two years to build all of that,” Cr Pascoe said.
“There are opportunities through that process to change things and tidy things up a little bit more.”
He conceded better consultation was needed in the future.
There hasn’t been a complete and proper process with the community,” Cr Pascoe said.
“Any changes in the future must definitely be put to the community in a better way than what has been done so far.”