The $13 million Shrine to Sea project, funded by the Victorian Government in 2018 to provide a walking and biking boulevard between St Kilda Road and the beach at Beaconsfield Parade, no longer contains a walking and biking component.
The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) has announced that active transport (bike riding and walking) measures will be removed from the Shrine to Sea Master Plan.
Provision of an active transport corridor was the raison d’être of the Shrine to Sea concept, so its removal leaves the project mostly a shell of the original dream.
Planning has been underway for five years and active transport has been a key element in the development work and in all stages of stakeholder and public consultation.
But now it's gone.
Bicycle Network CEO Alison McCormack said Shrine to Sea had been an active transport project from the get-go.
“This route along Albert and Kerferd roads is a strategic cycling corridor in the state government's network plans and is a high priority route in the plans of the City of Port Phillip.
"A protected bike lane is vital and would link to the new St Kilda Road protected bike lane. This would result in more people using these safe paths and increase the numbers of people who travel actively.
“Bicycle Network will work together with all parties to ensure that this commitment is fulfilled."
DEECA says that the protected bike lane will be separated from the Shrine to Sea masterplan to be "considered at a future time".
"In reviewing the draft masterplan, the Victorian Government considered a number of issues, including the Department of Transport and Planning’s decision to remove temporary Pop-Up Bike Lanes from the City of Port Phillip, and decided that further targeted engagement was required regarding a safe active transport solution along Kerferd Road,” DEECA said in a statement.
"The decision to separate the active transport solution from the Shrine to Sea project will allow for a robust and concentrated engagement process to occur in the future while preventing delays to the other proposed design elements in the draft masterplan.”
DEECA says it anticipates the revised draft masterplan will be released in mid-2023.