Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — (12 297) My question is to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, and I ask: what is the latest information on the St Kilda Road safety improvement study? The study was announced in August 2015 and was to look at separated bike lanes along St Kilda Road. There was supposed to be a proposal to be made available for consultation by late 2016, which did not occur. We had reports in the Age of 19 February stating that the project has been delayed for an unknown period of time to get further information on the potential impact on car and truck traffic of bike lanes.
St Kilda Road is one of Melbourne's busiest, but also one of our most dangerous bike routes. Separated bike lanes are needed to ensure the safety of cyclists, and it is also an opportunity to create a world-class cycling route from the south to the city centre. Cyclists are understandably frustrated over the lack of action on separated bike lanes, which have been proposed by both Port Phillip and Melbourne city councils. Reallocating road space from cars to bikes will always raise some concerns, but in this case it is essential to deliver a safe, world-class cycling route. Our transport network works efficiently when we have more people on bikes, reducing traffic and congestion. Safety is the paramount consideration for many would-be cyclists, particularly women. I urge the minister to build these bike lanes.
VicRoads has been working closely with key stakeholders, including the cities of Port Phillip and Melbourne, Transport Accident Commission, Active Transport Victoria and Melbourne Metro Rail Authority as part of the Study.
Initial community engagement, including a social media campaign, started in late August 2016 and concluded on 14 September 2016, reaching in excess of 100,000 people and receiving over 1,300 comments from members of the public.
The next round of community consultation (phase two) will commence in April 2017. This phase of consultation will focus on presenting the study outcomes and demonstrating how the feedback received has influenced key elements of the design.
The study, including community consultation, preparation of concept designs, traffic modelling and detailed project cost estimations, is expected to be completed by mid-2017.
Hon Luke Donnellan MP
Minister for Roads and Road Safety