Bicycle Network: Regional Routes
Ballarat Western Link Road Path
The Ballarat Western Link Road (BWLR) is approximately 16 kilometres long and will link the Western Freeway to the Midland Highway. and will serve new developments in the Ballarat Employment Zone, airport precinct and residential developments in Ballarat West. A shared path is being constructed along the corridor as part of the project.
Western Link Road Project to deliver for bikes
1 August 2012. The Ballarat Western Link Road will include a shared path and accomodate the existing Rail Trail by building an overpass to take the road over the rail corridor.
Stage one of BWLR, the northern 4.2km section between the Western Freeway and the Lucas Neighborhood Activity Centre - corner Dyson and Remembrance Drives, is due to be completed by November 2014.
The detailed design for he path is still being finalised. Ballarat BUG has been involved in the process over recent months.
The elements still of concern are:
- Connectivity to and from the Rail Trail; maintaining the connection along the existing path to its current end at Ring Rd and ultimately we want to see this linked into the city centre, and in the shorter term at least to existing rail services at Wendouree Station
- Connectivity across/under the road project to the residential areas to the east of the corridor
- Accomodating connections to future stages of the project and associated path once committed to
- Proper crossing consideration at the large roundabouts proposed along Stage One.
We will sit down with the Project team to ensure a good outcome for bikes can be finalised for stage one.
The diagram, right, shows the provision for both the rail trail under (orange) and the shared path (green) alongside the road.
There has also been proposed wide shoulders on both shoulders to cater for the handful of riders who may brave riding along the roadspace. This element of the project has been provided at huge additional cost for questionable benefit.
Further to the south the Ballarat West Precinct Scheme Plan proposes for the Western Link Rd within the PSP and represents a later stage of its development. The final draft includes a road profile with on-road 2.0m wide lanes on either side of the dual main carriageways.
It will also have one 2.5m shared paths on one side. We believe the on road spaces along this 80 kph road could be better utilised and cheaper to deliver if both sides of the road had a shared path, thus delivering a better outcome for Ballarat residents and ensuring that future children in these new suburbs are given the chance to ride to school rather than be driven.
Our souces tell us that Council originally wanted separated Copenhagen lanes however VicRoads deleted these due to unsubstantiated claims that buses would not be able to work with these, despite the AusRoads Guidelines specifically showing through text and even an photograpphically showcasing an existing example that this is indeed achievable. Ballarat West is also doomed to be a land of seventeen roundabouts despite traffic volume predictions showing these very intersections should be signalised. This is sadly more evidence that the current planning schemes are building unsafe suburbs and inactivity for residents who wont be able to safely walk or ride to local shops or schools.
Longer term we would hope this project could deliver congestion relief in some of the more central roads of Ballarat by removing the need for freight and through traffic to go through the city centre. This effect is starting to be seen in Geelong since the arrival of the Geelong Ring Road. This would allow Council the chance to review the bike network in the city centre and provide the key routes currently missing for the residents and visitors of Ballarat.
Early in 2012 the City of Ballarat adopted the preferred alignment of the proposed road. Council continues to undertake planning for the entire BWLR corridor.
Council and VicRoads continue to work in partnership to finalise the planning process and commence detailed design of this section of the road.