Concept plans for the level crossing removal and new railway station at Deer Park have wiped from the map a crucial bike route.
The route has ‘disappeared’ in the current concept plans, released recently for public comment.
This has sabotaged the development of a long-planned bike network to serve the hundreds of thousands of new residents that are settling in the new suburbs in Melbourne’s west.
There are supposed to be arterial cycling routes along the rail corridors in the western region, inter-connecting with other cycling corridors serving the growing suburbs.
However, for undisclosed reasons, the Level Crossings Removals group has thrown the planning overboard.
The Strategic Cycling Corridor network was planned by the Department of Transport and other key government agencies, in conjunction with local councils and Bicycle Network.
That work started in 2014 and was wrapped up late last year.
The map segment above shows the corridors through Deer Park.
Some of the route is already constructed—the section out from Sunshine along Forrest Road to Fitzgerald Road.
It is then supposed to continue along the rail corridor adjacent to Tilburn Road to Deer Park Station at Mt Derrimut Road, where it links up with the corridor planned for Station Road.
From there it was planned to continue west beyond Robinsons Road where it would fork, with one corridor following the regional rail link and the other continuing on the Caroline Springs station and beyond.
Level Crossing projects are required to take account of planning for all modes, and that includes bike riders.
The business cases prepared to justify level crossings removals and new stations include the benefits of those active transport elements.
Trails along rail corridors are particularly important to these new suburbs.
Many of the new residents will live a convenient bike ride from the stations, where extensive bike parking facilities will be provided.
The rail corridors enable high quality off-road facilities for quick and safe trips.
The new Deer Park station does have some desirable features, with new access points to the south linking the station to the more recently built residential areas in Derrimut and cutting down walking times for those arriving by foot.
But the lack of provision for the cycling corridor along the rail line and through the station precinct, and a crossing at Derrimut Road that includes a slip lane, cannot be accepted.
Make sure you visit the feedback page and have your say.
The project is still in the early stages and there is time for the designs to be corrected.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.