CYCLISTS from the inner north will protest outside Parliament House this week, demanding the state government fund the Darebin-Yarra trail link.
It follows the government's decision to cut the VicRoads Bicycle Program, which would have funded infrastructure including the trail from the 2012–13 budget.
Last year the government contributed $15 million to the program. Bicycle Network Victoria has organised the protest for 7.30am this Thursday.
Yarra City and Moreland City councils support the event.
Cyclists have long requested a link to close the 1.8 kilometre gap between the Darebin and the Yarra trails, which would allow riders to bypass the Chandler Highway Bridge.
BNV chief executive Harry Barber said he was "amazed and surprised" at the government's decision, adding that cycling was one of the cheapest ways to reduce traffic congestion.
"Since [Jeff] Kennett's days, state governments have been putting money away each year to build a bicycle network around Melbourne. We want to let the government know a lot of people think they've done the wrong thing."
Larissa Garvin, spokeswoman for Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder, said: "It is estimated that approximately $2 million will be spent on bicycle infrastructure as part of major road projects announced in the 2012–13 state budget."
Darebin Yarra Link Community Coalition spokesman Graeme Martin said users of the trail had been in discussions with governments about its completion for the past six years.
Melbourne Bicycle User Group spokesman Nik Dow said the cuts to the bike budget were a mistake, and that
the group was actively promoting Thursday's protest.