Box Hill Metro Activity Centre (MAC)

An initial report has come out from Whitehorse Council’s consultants on the development of an updated structure plan for Box Hill. The plans include the development of an Integrated Transport Strategy (ITS).

The submission from MeBUG mentioned in the previous News item, relates to this Strategy. Further consultation sessions will be held over the next several months.

The initial report as of September 2019 is available here.

North East Link – Cycling advocates’ report released

A dedicated subset of the Community Technical Discussion Group (CTDG) – Walking and Cycling has completed a report on the desired cycling and walking infrastructure that should be included in the project. The report will form part of the tender documents issued to bidders for the project. Sincere thanks to all who contributed to this report.

Funding for study of Hawthorn to Box Hill path

The state Labor MP for Box Hill, Paul Hamer MP has announced that $370,000 has been provided in the 2019-20 state budget for an initial study into the feasibility and possible route for the Hawthorn to Box Hill shared path. The project would leverage off the planned rail grade separations at Surrey Hills and Mont Albert. MeBUG warmly welcomes this announcement.

Budget submission to Whitehorse Council

We have put in a submission to Whitehorse Council for the 2019-20 budget, seeking adequate investment in cycling infrastructure. Our covering email stated:-

“Attached herewith is a list of 14 projects for improved cycling infrastructure that MeBUG requests be considered for funding in the coming Council budget. This list is a subset of a list submitted a year ago for the previous budget. Not one of those suggested projects received funding. The revised list has fewer projects with those clearly rejected by Council, having been removed. 

In putting forward this list, we remind Council that: 

  • In the 2018-19 budget, not a single metre of new bicycle path was budgeted nor built. This is, even for Whitehorse, a low water mark in cycling investment.
  • The 2016 Cycling Strategy records that community consultation placed ‘Build more off-road paths’ as the top priority.
  • The strategy also notes that ‘Interested but Concerned’ cohort, representing 60% of the community,  ‘Find situations in which they have to negotiate with traffic streams uncomfortable but respond well to stand alone paths and streets with little and slow traffic’.

We are fully aware of the Easy Ride Routes project and welcome any investment to encourage cycling. However we remain to be persuaded that this project will have a significant impact in encouraging the non cycling community members to take up cycling, with the attendant benefits in health and reduced traffic congestion.

We ask you to make every effort to include at least some of the projects in the list attached, in the coming budget.”

Box Hill to Anniversary Trail

We have just completed this comprehensive proposal for linking Box Hill (and the Box Hill to Ringwood Path) with the Anniversary Trail. This was prompted by the state government’s announcement of grade separation projects at Surrey Hills and Mont Albert to be constructed in 2019-2020.

We will be using this report to advocate to local politicians and Councils. we will be working closely with other cycling advocates such as Boroondara BUG to promote this key piece of new cycling infrastructure.

Healesville Freeway Reserve…and more

MeBUG president David Simm, attended the tree planting on the HFR reserve on Saturday 15 July, arranged by the Friends of the Healesville Freeway Reserve. Plants were provided by LXRA as an offset for the trees lost as part of the  the Blackburn Crossing Removal. The location is on the left between the Davy Lane car park and the horticulture centre so should not impede the subsequent plans for the bike path.

Also present was an LXRA communication  person who was made aware of our case for the Elgar Rd bridge and acquainted with the Cochrane St bridge as the sort of crossing we would like. 

David subsequently spoke with Cr Munro about the Pipe Track and Council’s need for a plan B to spend the previously allocated money on. David suggested the path along Mahoneys Road . He seemed quite interested but suggested we write to Mayor Bill Bennett, as it was in his ward.

MeBUG President David Simm at the HFR planting day, 15 December 2018

Bike It 2018

MeBUG volunteers participated in the Whitehorse Council and Maroondah/Manningham  Council Bike It events held on 21st and 27th November 2018.

Here are expressions of appreciation from both councils…

22 November 2018

Hi David and Elaine,

We just wanted to say a massive Thank You to the both of you for representing MeBug at Bike it! last week and for all your amazing volunteer work. Your contribution to making the day a success was so much appreciated. You both did such a fine job at the trail ride activity. The feedback we have received from the schools has been terrific, with all of them commenting on how fantastic the volunteers at Bike it! were with the students and their encouragement and support of the kids during the cycling activities.

These events are not possible without the generous help of people like yourselves. Thank you so much David and Elaine, it was a pleasure once again being in your company at Bike it! We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.

We hope that Bike it! will continue to inspire and encourage more young children in our community to cycle more often for fun, fitness, health and for an active travel alternative around Whitehorse and Boroondara City Council’s. Bike it! is also an excellent opportunity for the students to see the volunteer groups in our community and how they can get involved in the community in the future and the value in all of the community working together.

Kind regards

Justine Girgin & Chris Hui (Whitehorse City Council)

Nellie Montague (Boroondara City Council)

28 November 2018

Dear Michael Hasset,

On Tuesday 27 November, Maroondah City Council in partnership with Manningham City Council and Road Safe Eastern Metro, held Bike It! 2019. Bike It! was attended by 125 students from five primary schools.

  • Templestowe Heights
  • St Clements of Rome
  • Milgate
  • Mullum
  • Great Ryrie

It was incredible to witness the fantastic bicycle skills demonstrated by students. All team did well and competed in the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship. A team from Milgate Primary School are our Bike It! 2019 Champions. With teams from Mullum Primary School coming second and third.

Bike It! could not happen without the support of these organisations and club.:

  • Bicycle Network – activity marshalling and judging.
  • Croydon Lions – BBQ catering for the event. Serving 240 sausages to the ravenous students.
  • Croydon Cycleworks – bicycle checks and bike safe activation.
  • Cycles Galleria – bicycle checks and prize support to the value of $1000.
  • Metro East Bicycle User Group (MeBUG)- activity marshalling and judging.
  • Norwood Secondary College – all students performed their allocated roles exceptionally well. They were positive, encouraging to the participants and fair.
  • Victorian Police –activity marshalling and judging.

We thank you and your members for being part of the successful event. Please forward our thanks on to Scoot Green, David Simm and Marion Hick.

The verbal feedback from Councillors, teachers, students and parents was overwhelmingly positive. The teachers noted that the event was well organised, engaging and complimented their Bike Ed programs. The teachers all recommended prioritising this event in their school calendars for 2019. The students said the event was fun, the ice poles were awesome and some of the activities were difficult.

I look forward to working with you on Bike It! 2019.

Kind Regards,

Michael Blowfield
Transport and Sustainability Planner


Maroondah Bike It November 2018


Healesville Freeway Reserve – a step closer

The HFR corridor has been saved, the first tranche of 20 parcels was transferred to Crown last year and the second tranche of 9 parcels totaling 13.3 hectares has now transferred to Crown.

This brings the total land saved as open space for the community by transfer to crown to 34.9 hectares.  More details in media release from Shaun Leane MP. Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region.

We now await the next stage, being the development of a  detailed plan for the Reserve, including the shared path running the entire length of the reserve.

Eastern Rail Trail, city to Box Hill

The long dreamt-of Eastern Rail trail may be a step closer!

The state government announced on October 21st 2018 that if re-elected, it will remove a further 25 level crossings over and above the 50 already done or in planning. These further 25 include Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert and Union Road, Surrey Hills.

Removal of these crossings provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to implement a high quality shared user path (SUP) from Hawthorn to Box Hill, to connect with the almost complete Box Hill to Ringwood Shared User Path (BHRSUP). This would largely complete the concept of the Eastern Rail Trail going back to 1996.  Read more

Interesting cycling statistics

In cooperation with Budget Direct Motor, we are pleased to present some interesting statistics on cycling, covering both cycling accidents on Victorian roads as well as surprising data on the number and distance of trips made by people in metro Melbourne.

These data show how important separated paths are for cycling safety, as well as showing how many trips are relatively short and could easily be done by bicycle.

See this great Infographic for more details.