Hobart moves on transport strategy

The City of Hobart has released its draft transport strategy.

If you would like to provide feedback until 6 August, you can do so online or email or post your comments to the City of Hobart and attend one of the following information sessions:

Monday 23 July, 4–6 pm
South Hobart Living Art Centre
14 Weld Street, South Hobart
4.15 pm: school community discussion
5.15 pm: general community discussion

Tuesday 24 July, 4–6 pm
Derwent Sailing Squadron
23 Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay
4.15 pm: school community discussion
5.15 pm: general community discussion

Wednesday 25 July, 4–6 pm
Lenah Valley Community Hall
22 Creek Road, Lenah Valley
4.15 pm: school community discussion
5.15 pm: general community discussion

Thursday 26 July
Town Hall Ballroom
50 Macquarie Street, Hobart  
Presentations at 1.15 pm, 5.15 pm and 6.15 pm


The strategy is the result of more than 18 months of community consultation and release of several discussion papers.

The Lord Mayor’s introduction states that the recently completed City Vision process has informed the strategy, which is directed at:

  • completing and extending a network of bicycle facilities
  • making the city more walkable
  • improving bus service reach and frequency
  • developing river ferry services, passenger transport services and housing on the rail corridor.

Background to the strategy also strongly supports the community desire, and public health and climate change imperatives of getting more people choosing active transport options.

Nine transport themes

The strategy is broken into nine themes, each with its own set of actions:

Theme 1 – Decisions based on evidence and current data
Theme 2 – Integrating transport and land use planning
Theme 3 – Recognising walking as the most fundament transport mode
Theme 4 – Supporting more people to ride bicycles
Theme 5 – Increase participation in public transport and reduce congestion
Theme 6 – Smart parking for residents, visitors and businesses
Theme 7 – Freight by road, port and air
Theme 8 – Managing our transport network
Theme 9 – Developing partnerships with stakeholders.

Theme 4 is the obvious one of interest for bicycle riders, although there are actions across all the themes that are relevant.

The strategy recognises that off-road and fully separated facilities create the best environment for cycling and that gaps in networks are a deterrent to riding. It also highlights the need for more end of trip facilities, more bicycle parking and improved community culture that accepts riding a bicycle as an everyday transport option. 

Strengthening the strategy

The council has done great work on developing the three cycling corridors into the city but the next big step has to be taken to connect these corridors via best practice, separated on-road facilities.

Separated cycleways connected to schools, workplaces, shops and other areas of interest have been shown to contribute to big increases in rider numbers in other cities where they've been implemented. 

The strategy outlines the routes that have to be created to plug the gaps in Hobart’s network, but what we don’t want to see is just paint on the road.

Bicycle Network wants the council to commit to building separated cycleways to complete and enhance Hobart’s network. The strategy is silent on how the connections will be made, leaving them to the yet-to-be developed bike plan.

A new bike plan is long overdue and a welcomed aspect of this strategy, but there is no firm timeline and the goals are broad. More direction is needed to guide the work of the bike plan and for the council to show its commitment to resourcing and supporting active transport choices.

Bicycle Network wants the transport strategy to clearly state that a new bike plan will have a network of separated cycleways at its core.

The strategy talks about developing a road user hierarchy through consultation with local area groups, similar to what it has done with its retail precinct upgrades in Lenah Valley and New Town. This has been a successful method of community involvement, but there is a danger that leaving the development of a city-wide bike plan to multiple local area consultation groups will drag the process out over years and deliver a disjointed approach.

Bicycle Network believes the bike plan should be developed first, mapping out completion of a network of separated cycleways and a timeline for each route.

Local area consultation can then flesh out what communities may want for local roads and connections to schools, parks and shopping areas joining to the main separated cycling routes. In some cases they may want separated facilities to continue and in others they may prefer low-speed, traffic calmed roads that are clearly signed as bicycle routes.

Local area consultation needs to be guided by a consistent city-wide plan as people ride all over the place, not just in their local area. It makes sense to complete the central elements of a bike plan before such consultation takes place.   

The strategy says the bike plan should encourage an increase in the number of bicycle trips. We’d like to see the strategy be more explicit and call for an increase in the number of bicycle trips for people aged 8–80, which further supports the need for more separated infrastructure to provide riding conditions the majority of the population would be comfortable with.

Missing in the strategy is a commitment by the council to lead change through its own operations.

Educating its staff to better look out for vulnerable road users is a good action, but it should be supplemented by the council replacing some of its vehicle fleet with an electric bicycle fleet and providing bicycle rider training.

If council staff are using bicycles to get around town it would help to focus their minds on what riders need, and would also reflect the strong desire in the City Vision for low-carbon transport modes.

The council may also be able to provide bicycle leasing and salary sacrificing to encourage more of its staff to commute by standard and electric bicycles.

Actions of interest for bike riders

Following is a list of all the actions of relevance to bicycle riders in the strategy, although the strategy should ideally be read as a whole:

Action 1.5 – Introduce an improved online reporting tool for managing customer requests and notifications of required repairs for City of Hobart infrastructure.

Action 2.2 – Research, in fine detail, the available development sites in Hobart to better understand where higher density housing may be most suitable. The aim of such research is to:

inform and plan for walking and bicycle networks in the central city area, and further public open space acquisition for social infrastructure to support and integrate with these walking and bicycle networks.

Action 2.6 – Review the adequacy of the planning scheme provisions in relation to end of use facilities (showers, changing and storage) in developments for active travel users and employee/resident exercise pursuits.

Action 2.9 – At the Macquarie Point Development area, ensure that public transport facilities and associated cycleway and public transport corridors are provided for in future planning for the development of Macquarie Point.

Action 2.10 – Continue the planning work associated with the City to Cove project undertaken by the City of Hobart in 2017, to understand and plan for the pedestrian and bicycle linkage implications of the proposed eastern shore ferry link.

Action 2.11 – Continue to work with the University of Tasmania to integrate and provide sustainable transport solutions for current and planned UTAS facilities in Hobart.

Action 2.13 – Continue to advocate for the provision of active travel infrastructure associated with urban extensions to the metropolitan area and surrounding southern region and where major road works are proposed (for example, replacement of the Bridgewater Bridge).

Action 4.1 – Develop a user hierarchy (Theme 8 – Managing our traffic and movement network) to reinforce the need for cycling access and provision in our city centre and suburban neighbourhoods.

Action 4.2 – Complete and connect the initial city wide bicycle network established in the past 10 years, with implementation priorities based upon the new bicycle plan (Action 4.3).

Action 4.3 – Develop a detailed bicycle plan that expands the contribution that cycling makes to the operation of the city and encourages an increase in the number of trips taken by bicycle. The plan will:

  • identify the range of strategic actions to prioritise efforts to improve the cycling network
  • focus our effort and resources on the completion of key cycling routes, completing and connecting the network already established
  • develop a network of neighbourhood routes, where appropriate on quiet back streets, supported with wayfinding
  • recognise the importance of also providing for recreational, sporting and beginner (learner) cyclist facilities to strengthen cycling culture and family enjoyment of cycling • provide direction for capital works and street management such as vehicle speed, priority access and safety measures
  • review planning scheme provisions to ensure the achievement of the high-quality environment desired for the city, including end-of-trip facilities in buildings and city streets
  • provide detail on an active routes to school program
  • consider access to and around retail precincts and neighbourhood activity centres
  • outline programs to promote and encourage behaviour change
  • use the pre-planning and scoping work undertaken by the City of Hobart Bicycle Advisory Committee in 2018 to guide the development of the new plan
  • provide input into future budgets and the City of Hobart’s Long Term Financial Management Plan.

Action 4.4 – Building on the City of Hobart’s current driver training program for employees, and in conjunction with key stakeholders, develop a driver training program for corporate fleet and business driving, highlighting needs of vulnerable road users. Stage 1 will initially be for City of Hobart employees, but future stages could be rolled out for others to use.

Action 5.6 – Actively partner with the University of Tasmania to establish a demonstration bicycle share and car share program at a major UTAS accommodation site.

Action 5.7 – Explore opportunities for park and ride facilities in Hobart, where the ‘last mile’ ride can be provided by bus or bicycle services.

Action 6.1 – Develop a new parking plan … to guide the future use and management of the City of Hobart’s on street and off street parking supply

The plan will continue to provide and expand the supply of bicycle and motorcycle parking.

The plan will build on the trial of electric vehicle charging facilities in the Hobart Central car park, and incorporate an e-vehicle charging set of actions to cater for cars, bicycles and mobility scooters.

Action 6.3 – Explore further opportunities within Hobart (in appropriate areas outside of the city centre) to provide pay for service, park and ride (a bus, a bike) or park and walk facilities.

Action 8.3 – In conjunction with planning (as previously described for the walking plan, Theme 3 and cycling plan, Theme 4), commence a process of progressively reviewing local area traffic management plans.

This process will also consult and engage with communities to determine a candidate suburb, or local area, to trial a UK-style ‘home zone’ (or Dutch woonerf, living street). Such a shared street zone with reduced speed limits promotes equal priority to all modes of transportation and pedestrian use of streets.

Action 8.4 – Consider wider area speed limit reductions to 40 km/hr in residential areas and the central Hobart city commercial area, similar to that currently operating in the Battery Point and Hobart waterfront area.

Action 8.9 – Develop ratings, and begin rating and reporting on individual transport assets including roads, footpaths and bicycle tracks for their three services (function, capacity and quality) in addition to rating for physical condition.

Action 8.10 – In line with current City of Hobart policy, continue to consider opportunities to install and upgrade pedestrian and cycling infrastructure along with street trees (where possible) when undertaking road renewal works.

Action 8.11 – Commence work in conjunction with other councils, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (TAS) and the Local Government Association of Tasmania on a review of the current subdivision guidelines and standard drawings.

Action 8.12 – Commence work with other councils, the Tasmanian Road Safety Advisory Council, the Tasmanian Transport Commissioner and other key stakeholders to develop trials, guidelines and installation advice notes for new and emerging road and traffic devices and markings. For example, pedestrian crossings, pedestrian countdown timers at traffic signals and sharrows (bicycle) symbols on roads.