The first bicycle-specific commitments of the federal election campaign have been made, with Liberal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg promising that the Coalition will invest millions on Melbourne’s Yarra Boulevard riding route.
A re-elected Morrison government will spend $5 million on lighting, CCTV and speed inhibitors on Yarra Boulevard, as well as $1.5 million on upgrading the Walmer Street bridge.
It’s hoped that installing CCTV and lighting on the Boulie will deter the infamous tacker as well as dangerous drivers.
It’s unclear at this stage what the speed inhibitors will be, however it is possible that the funding will cover upgrade options previously developed by VicRoads.
Upgrades to the Walmer Street bridge are well overdue and have been campaigned for by a long time by the Walmer Street Bridge Coalition which includes the Yarra BUG and Boroondara BUG.
The bridge is ageing, has capacity issues and does not comply with disability standards.
Bicycle Network’s Super Tuesday count shows that the bridge is used by more than 500 riders during the morning commute and throughout the day it is used by thousands of people.
It is a vital link for not only road cyclists heading to the Boulie, but all other people who ride bikes either to work or for fun, runners and walkers. It is part of the Main Yarra Trail and connects to a number of high density residential blocks and Victoria Gardens shopping precinct.
The $1.5 million follows the Victorian Government’s 2018 election promise of $200,000 for a scoping study and business case for upgrading the Walmer Street bridge.
It is positive to see bikes become part of the conversation during the election campaign and we look forward to seeing if other parties including Labor and The Greens will match Mr Frydenberg’s announcement.
To keep track of all commitments by parties, visit the election tracker on Bicycle Network’s federal election campaign page.
You will also see Bicycle Network’s asks for this election, including a pay-to-ride-to-work scheme and $492 million bike infrastructure fund.Federal election campaign