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Question Status:  Answered

Session: 59 Parliament First Session Sitting: 2020 House: LA
QP Reference No: 0 Question Number: 4596

Asked By: Read Tim Party: Greens Addressed To: Roads and Road Safety
Asked Date: Oct 14, 2020

Question Preview:

ADJOURNMENT MATTERDr Read to ask the Minister for Roads and Road Safety

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety and Minister for Public Transport, and the action I seek is for Sydney Road to urgently be rebuilt and revitalised to attract more shoppers and walkers and to make it safer for bike riders as restrictions are eased. Many shops in our retail high streets are closed, some for good, as the pandemic has shut down so many of our shared spaces. Sydney Road is Melbourne's longest shopping strip, with pubs dating from the gold rush, when it was called Pentridge Road. Before the coronavirus pandemic it was choked by cars, with narrow, congested footpaths, putting pedestrians close to the noise and pollution of the traffic. The pandemic, though, has induced more of us to walk and ride bikes to get around our neighbourhoods. Bike shops are busier than ever, but riders are forced into a hazardous, unofficial half-lane between parked cars on one side and moving cars on the other, making Sydney Road an obstacle course and a regular source of accidents.

For many years local residents and politicians have called for changes to revitalise this popular symbol of Brunswick to make it more attractive for walkers and shoppers and safer for riders. The people of Brunswick are waiting for action, and this extraordinary year we need it for more reasons than ever. Last year's extensive VicRoads survey showed strong majority support for protected bike lanes and wider footpaths. Brunswick was already the top cycling postcode in Australia, and this has only increased due to the pandemic. And with restaurateurs now calling for more shared dining space on the footpath to open up there are more and more reasons that we did not anticipate at the start of the year, and so it has become urgent.

Sydney Road, I appreciate, is narrow, and it is hard to accommodate the competing needs of cars, cafes, trams and active transport-walking and riding. But these challenges do not reduce the longstanding need to revitalise Sydney Road, and now Sydney Road needs resuscitation. I believe the minister takes these issues seriously, and I urge prompt action.


The operation of Sydney Road is complex, and it is important to consider the needs of local traders, residents and commuters including public transport, cycling and pedestrians.


Since 2015, the Department of Transport (DoT) has made several changes along Sydney Road, between Bell Street and Park Street, to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety. These changes included a speed limit reduction to 40 km/h, installation of raised pavements at side streets to slow down vehicles turning into

and out of Sydney Road, installation of electronic Give Way to Pedestrians signs at selected intersections, and line-marking aimed at improving safety and priority for cyclists.


More recently, the nearby Upfield train line level crossing removal project commenced. This project will remove level crossings between Bell Street and Moreland Road and will improve part of the Upfield shared user path. This will improve the way the transport network around Sydney Road works.


The impact of COVID-19 is understood, and the Department of Transport is working with stakeholders including councils and the Municipal Association of Victoria to assist with Victoria's recovery and the implementation of Victorian Government's Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package.





The Hon Ben Carroll MP

Minister for Public Transport

Minister for Roads and Road Safety

Answer Published Date: