Ringwood-Croydon path update

Hi Shaun,

The development of concept plans and potentially more detailed plans to advocate for high quality cycling facilities (and/or future proofing of works to allow for these facilities) is very much on the agenda to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the level crossing removals.

We have currently commissioned concept designs for Bedford Road.  We envisage work for Ringwood East and Croydon will commence shortly pending further imminent discussions.

We plan to consult the MeBUG once more detailed plans have been developed.

If you have any queries, please contact me.

Marvin Chen 
Team Leader Traffic and Transportation Engineering 

Maroondah Council

Start announced on Burwood Highway ‘missing link’

VicRoads has announced that work on the path along Burwood Highway Vermont South linking the Eastlink Trail with the Dandenong Creek Trail, is about to commence.

“Work to construct the new path is now set to commence and follows a range of feedback over the past 12 months, including input from the local community at the community information session in 2019. Stakeholder feedback is highly valued and has helped shape the project.

The Victorian Government has invested $5.7 million to provide:

·      A safer link for pedestrians and cyclists to walk and ride between the EastLink Trail and the Dandenong Creek Trail.

·      An 800m all-weather off-road path, that includes a 45m bridge over the Dandenong Creek.

·      A direct link from the existing shared use path towards Westfield Knox.

The new path will provide a safer and more convenient alternative to the existing narrow timber boardwalk on the northern side of Burwood Highway which becomes slippery when wet and is often closed for the community’s safety.

Work on the new shared use path will commence this week and the path is expected to open to cyclists and pedestrians in late 2021. To keep everyone safe we will need to close the left-hand lane along Burwood Highway city-bound during work hours – 9.30am to 3.30pm (weekdays)  and 8.30am to 5pm weekends.”

See project page for more information.

Box Hill to Ringwood Path finally completed

Some eleven years after a group of advocates started campaigning for the construction of this project, it was finally completed in December 2020. The final stage comprised:

  • Widening of the footpath on the Middleborough Rd rail bridge to accommodate the shared path;
  • Construction of a separated path through laburnum Park;
  • Installation of a signalised crossing of Laburnum Street adjacent to the railway bridge; and
  • Construction of a separated path along main Street between Laburnum Street and South Parade.

See project page for more information

Whitehorse Council budget again short-changes cyclists

Whitehorse Council has again produced a budget with woefully inadequate provision for cycle paths and other infrastructure.

Council has allocated just $327,000 for cycling which covers just one Easy Rides route and some minor unspecified cycle related items.

We have lodged a submission Arguing for more funding and a new approach, particularly in view of the COVID-19 crisis. In a nutshell, our submission:

  • Seeks redress of the habitual underfunding by doubling the current year provisions and tripling in subsequent years;
  • Notes the greatly increased cycling take up due to the Covid-19 outbreak;
  • Points out the disparity of cycling investment compared to general recreational and roads funding;  
  • Calls for ‘big picture’ thinking in leveraging existing infrastructure and working in partnership with the state government; and
  • Calls for a Council resolution to require officers to increase cycling funding in the future as well as a more holistic approach to cycle planning.

You can read our full submission here.

Box Hill Activity Centre Planning

Whitehorse Council, with consultants AECOM has been developing its Box Hill Integrated Transport Strategy since late 2019. The Stage 3 draft report was recently released for comment.

The strategy recognises the importance of active transport, walking and cycling. However MeBUG believes improvements can be made for cyclists travelling through Box Hill via the Box Hill to Ringwood path and the future planned Hawthorn to Box Hill path, now being planned by the Victorian government. MeBUG has made a further submission to address this issue.

Deakin Uni – safe cycling access

David Simm and Michael Hassett representing MeBUG met with Karly Lovell, General Manager, Travel and Transport and Yvonne Yip, Director of Property Infrastructure and Property Group, of Deakin University on 22nd October.

The meeting resulted from MeBUG submissions dated 30/8/18 and 24/7/19 to the Deakin Vice Chancellor requesting improvements to the safety of students and the general community accessing the Burwood Campus via McComas Gve and Holland Avenue.

Within the general discussions re cycling to campus we specifically discussed:

  • The dangers posed by vehicular traffic including buses from east & west funnelling into Holland Ave at the same time as cyclists from the SUP along the Burwood Highway.

  • Access to the Elgar Rd campus via Holland Avenue for students from the east and southeast.
  • The lack of a safe pedestrian and cyclist crossing of the Burwood Highway at its’ intersection with Holland Ave & McComas Grove.
  • The advantages provided by safe access to McComas Gve  including connection to Mt Waverly via The Lundgren Chain and Damper Creek Paths and a gradient free access to the Gardiners Creek Path to and from the south.
  • We provided approximate costing for circa 400 lin metres of SUP along Holland Ave and upgrades to the existing crossing.
  • We provided broad details of our “Dual Mode (bikes & trains) transport to Deakin “ information sheet. We agreed to assist Deakin by preparing Detailed planning of these routes.
  • We were able to provide details of responses from VicRoads who have “ agreed in principle subject to funding” for an upgrade of the crossing of Burwood Highway and from Whitehorse City Council who have stated  “there are no plans to make changes to Holland Ave”.
  • We discussed the new bridge over the Dandenong Creek and SUP at Vermont South and the need for “cut throughs” to service lanes.

Finally it was agreed to continue to co-operate on this project and for MeBUG to assist Deakin in achieving their targets of increasing cycling as a means to travel to the university.

Bikes on country trains

MeBUG members Lawrence and Breta Cohen have been quietly working to promote improved arrangements for carrying bikes on trains, especially country trains.

They recently attended a workshop in Wangaratta on this subject. Lawrence reports as follows:

“Breta and I accepted an invitation to attend a recent Workshop on internal design of proposed long-haul VLocity trains.  The Workshop was held at Wangaratta on the 4th of September.  We were pleasantly surprised at the tone of the Workshop.  There will be increased provision for bikes.  Further, there seems to be an increasing realisation that a booking system is important.  Ideally, with further lobbying and pressure, there may be a new booking system.  We have attached our report on the Workshop.”

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.