Hopes are rising for better bike connections around Newport in Melbourne’s inner south-west.
A draft Newport Structure Plan has been released for comment that points the way to better and safer access into and through the core of the suburb.
The overpass of the Melbourne Road link to Williamstown is just one of a number of bike-hostile road arrangements in the suburb that prevent quick, easy and safe bike connections in what should be a comfortably ridable environment.
Melbourne Road itself is an ugly, busy arterial, and no place for bikes.
Hall Street down to Spotswood, the obvious alternative, should become a particularly attractive bike corridor once it connects to the extension of the Federation Trail coming as part of the West Gate Tunnel project.
Newport is well serviced by public transport however, access to the train station and bus transit area is challenging, the plan says.
The draft plan says a key issue is the pedestrian and cycling connections within the commercial and civic areas.
The strategic response is to address the break in cycling links within the centre and investigate new pedestrian crossing on Melbourne Road and potential upgrade of Melbourne Road and Mason Street intersection into a multi-directional crossing.
Newport was one of the first stations in Melbourne to get a Parkiteer cage, however users don’t find riding to the station easy.
Key directions in the draft Structure Plan giving considered effect to current local and state policy, include:
- Create defined gateways and entries into the activity centre
- Retain and draw on local heritage for new built form, adaptive re-use and redevelopment
- Encourage economic activity and strengthen Newport’s role as a vibrant activity centre, with an emphasis on culture, food, retail and convenient living
- Support development at key sites for future mixed use development
- Provide policy direction on zoning, building heights, design responses and activation across the activity centre
- Strengthen the role of Paine Reserve as the “green heart” of Newport and improvements to public realm within the centre
- Support sustainable modes of travel within and around the centre
- Improve linkages between the train station and bus terminal and key surrounding facilities or open spaces