Just $22.7 million of Victoria’s roads budget will be spent on bikes and active transport over the next four years, today’s State Budget papers show.
The election year budget has pitched a total of $4.3 billion for roads, meaning just 0.5 per cent will be spent on bike riding and walking.
This is well below the UN recommendation that 20 per cent of transport budgets are allocated to active travel.
Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said that the Victorian Budget has a short-term focus and that building more roads for cars to drive on is not a congestion solution.
“This is a band-aid budget from the Andrews Government that will not fix Victoria’s congestion woes,” said Mr Richards.
“There is $60 million slated for just 2000 car parks at metropolitan train stations. It’s hard to expect a healthier, more active Australia when we’re spending only a third of that on active transport.”
There were a handful of bike projects nominated, with the big-ticket item the Upfield Bike Path in Melbourne’s north, which is set to be extended.
Cumberland Road in Pascoe Vale is also set for bike upgrades, as are Burwood Highway and Brunswick Road. Routes from Diamond Creek to Hurstbridge and Carrum Downs to Warburton will get a look in, as well as at Bellarine.
Shared paths will also be developed alongside some of the roads to be improved as part of the Suburban Roads Upgrade project.
There was no mention of St Kilda Road in budget papers, however it was said that there is scope for protected bike lanes on the strip and that plans are being considered.
“While some investment in places to ride is positive, the truly important and transformational projects have again been forgotten. St Kilda Road plans have been considered for the past decade, but we’re still waiting for action,” added Mr Richards.
Other initiatives that may bring results for bike riders came from Tourism and Public Transport portfolios.
A plan for a riding and walking route from the Shrine of Remembrance to Port Phillip Bay that honours veterans will receive $13 million, while $500,000 has been set to develop a business case for the Grampians Cycling Plan.
There will also be a business case written for active transport and tram connections between Fishermans Bend and the Melbourne CBD.
“We will work with the state government to make sure bike projects are delivered to a world class standard and show the value of these projects so that Victorian’s one day get the bike budget they deserve,” added Mr Richards.
Bike and pedestrian projects to be funded by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR)
- Brunswick Road near Watson Street – Upgrades to the existing crossing to improve safety and reduce delays for Upfield trail users
- Bellarine Rail Trail (Leopold to Geelong Strategic Cycling Corridor) -Trail improvements by sealing the section from Moolap Station Rd to Melaluka Rd, Leopold
- Upfield Bike Path Refurbishment & extension – Undertake a range of minor improvements to the Upfield Bike Path and construct the missing section from Box Forest Road to the Western Ring Road
- Burwood Hwy – Construct a link to connect the Eastlink Trail to the Dandenong Creek Trail for use in all weather conditions
- Diamond Creek Trail – Contribute towards the construction of the remining section of the trail from Diamond Creek to Hurstbridge
- Cumberland Road – Installation of dedicated cycle lanes between Boundary Rd and Olive Grove to complete the on-road link from Glenroy to Coburg
- Carrum Downs to Carrum to Warburton Trail – Provide a continuous path enabling the Carrum Downs community to access to the Carrum to Warburton Trail.
- Raleigh Road at Maribyrnong River - Widen the existing shared paths on both sides of bridge. Note: while this is listed as a pedestrian project, it will be very valuable for bike riders on the Maribyrnong Trail.
- Police Road existing POS near Wellington Secondary College, Mulgrave – Improve visibility and safety of the signals to improve driver compliance
- Ararat-Halls Gap Road (Barkly St), between Princes St and King St, Ararat – Installation of kerb outstands to improve safety for people crossing near 2 schools
- Burgundy Street Pedestrian Safety Improvements – A range of traffic calming measure to improve pedestrian safety in this shopping precinct
- Riddells Creek – Change Zebra crossing to Pedestrian Operated Signals
- Buckley Street, between Lincoln Road and Lorraine Street – provide signals to improve safe crossing opportunities for pedestrians
Bicycle Network will report more detail on bike projects as they come to hand.