People in Maryborough might typically think of stock and grain carters when it comes to goods carrying vehicles, but that could soon change with the implementation of the Central Goldfields Shire Council's new Integrated Transport Strategy.
The council is set to purchase two electric cargo bicycles for staff and local businesses to use to get around town and complete local deliveries, reducing the need for businesses to own and use expensive cars and vans.
It's just one of many points in a robust strategy that aims to give people more transport choices, reduce living costs and increase tourism.
Electric cargo bikes are great for making, fast and nimble delivery trips and are fast becoming the weapon of choice for many businesses and residents in Eurpoean cities like Vienna and London.
They can typically carry up to 100kg of gear, which becomes a cinch with the help of an electric motor.
Alongside the e-cargo bikes, the council will also issue a tender to bikeshare providers interested in expanding in the area.
A bikeshare scheme would go hand-in-hand with another goal of the strategy's to adapt the train timetable to allow people to make day trips from Melbourne to Maryborough.
You could catch the train from Southern Cross, grab a bike at Maryborough station and cruise around town for the day visiting galleries, cafes and boutiques.
Signage and wayfinding would also be improved in Maryborough to help you get around. No need for a car at all.
More traditional bike tourism has also been thought of, with the shire to liaise with the state government about protecting all non-operational railway corridors for future use as shared trails. Improving existing walking and cycling trails such as the Goldfields Track is listed as action item too.
Another big-ticket item in the strategy is the creation of shared paths with priority road crossings to each school in the area. Locations for would include:
- Along California Gully from Maryborough Education Centre to Four Mile Creek and along the railway corridor to Dooleys Road
- Along Prince Alfred Street to Talbot Primary School
- Along Davies Street to Bealiba Primary School
- Along Bull and Havelock Streets to Dunolly Primary School (on the side of the road with fewer intersections and driveways
- Along Birch Street and Camp Street to Carisbrook Primary School
- Along Kars Street to Highview College and St Augustine’s Primary School
Other roads and streets could also have improved crossings and traffic calming measures put in place to make bike riding a more attractive option for people. Some roads and public areas may also be opened up for riding and walking.
The Central Goldfields Shire Council's Integrated Transport Strategy 2020-2030 was finalised in September after community feedback and input was provided earlier in the year.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.