Protected bike lanes on Geelong's Malop Street look likely to remain after the state government made a move to declare the area a Designated Road Project, taking control away from the Geelong council.
The Mercer Street, Malop Street and Garden Street corridor will be under the control of the Andrews Labor Government, putting a stop to the City of Greater Geelong's plans to rip up the bike lanes and destroy the Green Spine Project.
A government media release said that Minister for Roads Jaala Pulford has written to the City of Greater Geelong directing them not to undertake any works that are not in line with the Malop Street Green Spine Project.
“We’re taking action to secure the Green Spine, ensuring Geelong has a world-class city centre and transport network that is ready for the future,” said Minister Pulford.
“This decision will ensure the Green Spine goes ahead – delivering on our commitment and giving locals the certainty they deserve.”
The revitalised Malop Street has been open since 2018, but in February this year the local government decided that bike lanes should be ripped up because they were reducing the number of cars that could fit on the street.
Before the council voted to remove the bike lanes, Bellarine MP Lisa Neville warned that she would push hard for changes to how much control the council would have over the Green Spine Project.
Today Ms Neville backed this up.
“I won’t stand by and watch a reckless Council take a wrecking ball to our beautiful Green Spine – spending $2 million ripping up work already done in Malop Street is a backwards step and waste of money.”
“The Green Spine is an important part of the Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan and a fundamental part of securing the economic success of our city.”