Deer Park plans disappoint

Final plans for the new station and level crossing removal at Mt Derrimut Road in Deer Park have been released and will greatly improve train and bus travel in surround suburbs. Bikes, not so much.Yes, there is a good supply of bike parking at the new station, and some of the connections to the local bike network will function well.However, what is not recognised—and has not received a single mention in the latest project documentation—is that one of Melbourne's Strategic Cycling Corridors (SCC) is to run right along this railway line from Sunshine to Deer Park and the suburbs further out.The SCC’s are mapped all over Melbourne and regional Victoria and will form the arterial connections of the bike network like arterial roads function for motor traffic.The SCC is already built along Forest Road and is set to be extended along Tilburn Road to Dear Park, before continuing along the rail line.This final station design makes no provision for that planned continuation, with the Level Crossings Removal Project seemingly unconcerned that their obligations regarding integration with the bike network are not being met.It can’t be that difficult to fix this omission, and a way through might emerge before the project is over.A major bus interchange is being added to the station precinct in the wake of the level crossing removal at Derrimut Road and as that is designed in detail improvements may be possible.Additionally, there is a major development being planned on the old Orica property across the road and the alignment of the Tilburn Road SCC will be influenced by those plans.Otherwise, there is much to like about the proposed new station precinct: a multi-bay bus interchange; brand-new train station, accessible from both sides of the rail line; two spacious, landscaped forecourts; a secure bike storage Parkiteer and 26 new bike hoops; pick-up and drop-off zones on both sides of the rail line; two modern, elevated platforms with lifts, ramps and stairs; new waiting room; pathways, lighting and security cameras throughout the precinct.The nearby level crossings at Fitzgerald Road, Ardeer and Robinsons Road, Deer Park will be also be gone by 2023, followed by Mt Derrimut Road in 2024, making the Geelong and Ballarat lines level crossing free between Deer Park and the city.

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