Extend the Upfield Bike Path to Upfield
To the Minister for Major Projects and Minister for Transport, Jacinta Allan MP, in the state of Victoria, Australia.
We call upon you to instruct the Level Crossing Removal Authority to immediately build the Upfield Bike Path from the Western Ring Road Path to the north side of Camp Road in Campbellfield as part of the extension of the Upfield Bike Path to Upfield under the Camp Road level crossing removal major transport project.
Photo: John Englart outside the locked gate at Camp Road bridge. Formerly the public had informal access from Camp Road to the Western Ring Road Path via the VicTrack access road and M80 rail bridge. We are now locked out. This is where the unexcavated culvert for a cycling tunnel under Camp Road would start requiring digging up the present concrete path.
The Upfield Transport corridor in Melbourne's northern suburbs is a designated strategic cycling corridor. It is well past time the Upfield shared use bike path was extended to Upfield Station.
Currently the Upfield Bike Path is a major arterial cycling path for the northern suburbs of Melbourne starting at Park street in Brunswick, following the Upfield railway line through Brunswick, Coburg, Merlynston, and curently ending at Box Forest Road in Fawkner.
The path needs to be extended from Box Forest Road to join the Western Ring Road Path, then over the M80 rail bridge, across Camp Road and follow the railway line to Barry Road and Upfield Station.
The completion of the Upfield bike path has been advocated by both Moreland Council and Hume Councils for the last decade as part of their pedestrian and cycling strategies.
We have waited too long for the Upfield shared use Bicycle Path to be extended to Upfield in Melbourne's north. It needs to be built, not left to future politicians and bureacrats.
- Vic Roads have not provided any safe and legal north-south cycling route through Campbellfield. Vic Roads ignored the legislative imperative to provide a safe cycling alternative at Campbellfield.
- Sydney Road/Hume Highway is 6-8 lanes of heavy traffic in a 70 km/hr zone (highly unsafe)
- It is illegal to cycle on the footpath with a risk of being hit by vehicles at driveways and side streets.
- There is currently no safe legal route to access Campbellfield Plaza shops from the residential areas to the north.
- The Upfield transport corridor is a Strategic Cycling Corridor.
- Extending Upfield path to Upfield provides a safe route for cyclists.
- The City of Hume has had the Upfield Bike Path in their plans since 2010.
- The City of Hume has a high rate of car dependency and needs more dedicated cycling infrastructure.
- Level Crossing Removal Authority has a mandate under state Transport policy to provide new cycling infrastructure with all new major transport projects, including the Camp Road project.
- The City of Hume, City of Moreland, and others urged the Level Crossing Removal Authority to build new cycling infrastructure. They were ignored. It wasn't done.
- Except for including cycling lanes on the Camp Road bridge, no new cycling infrastructure was provided at the Camp Road level crossing removal project.
- Level Crossing Authority argue they have 'future-proofed' for a bike path, but without doing any of the substantial work, such as excavating the culvert under Camp Road. The Authority also cemented cabling on the M80 rail bridge in space that would nominally be used for a shared pedestrian cycle path. These two issues have actually caused bike path construction to be more expensive in the future.
- Building the shared use Upfield Path provides an important commuter cycling route from Upfield and the suburbs of Campbellfield, Dallas and Coolaroo in the City of Hume through Moreland to the Melbourne CBD.
- Provides needed cycling infrastructure for local recreational use.
- Provides a safe cycling route from the residential areas in the north to Campbellfield Plaza shops.
- Increases sustainable transport options for people living in south eastern suburbs of Hume.
- increases opportunity for exercise and population health benefits from increased physical activity and reduced obesity.
The Level Crossing Removal Authority should have built the Upfield Bicycle path extension as part of the Camp Road level Crossing Removal during work in November 2017 to January 2018, as specified under Section 1.7 of the Transport Department policy document: the Victorian Bicycle Strategy 2018 - 2028.
It is unacceptable to simply abandon cyclist requirements and call it 'future-proofing' as part of this major transport project.
This effectively leaves building the path up to the competing demands and prioritisation of Vic Roads limited budget for new cycling infrastructure, which may involve several years before funding is available, if ever.
For example, in the Victorian State Budget Transport Infrastructure funding includes almost $4.3 billion for upgrading or new roads around the state which is 69.1 percent of transport infrastructure budget funding. The overhaul of Victoria’s public transport network will get $1.9 billion which is 30.5 percent of Transport infrastructure budget funding. In comparison, and a long way behind, the active transport budget for cycling and walking is just 0.36 per cent of the total transport infrastructure budget, or $22.7million.
It is even more galling when residents of Moreland and Hume in safe Labor seats get 'future proofed', while we see residents in marginal seats along the Dandenong-Pakenham line, the Frankston Line, and the Mernda rail extension get new cycling infrastructure as part of level crossing removal. Some call this pork-barrelling.
What needs to be done by the Level Crossing Removal Authority under the authority of Minister for Major Projects and Minister for Transport Jacinta Allan MP:
- The culvert under Camp Road should be excavated to construct a safe cycling crossing under Camp Road.
- Install a constructed platform beside the VicTrack cemented cabling on the M80 rail bridge to provide a shared path surface, extend the height of the safety rail on the bridge.
- All the paths as indicated on the design plan should be built between the Western Ring Road Path and the north side of Camp Road.
The petitioners call upon the Minister for Major Projects, Hon Jacinta Allan,
to hold the Level Crossing Removal Authority accountable for following the Government’s transport policy, and construct the Upfield Bike Path from the Western Ring Road Path, over the M80 rail bridge and to the north side of Camp Road as it was required to do so under Section 1.7 of Transport Department Policy document: Victorian Bicycle Strategy 2018-2028.
The petitioners also call upon Hume and Moreland Councils to:
continue to progress all design work for completing the Upfield Bike Path extension to Upfield, and to strongly prioritise this work, cooperate and advocate for the State Government to complete the extension of the Upfield Bike Path to Upfield, without delay.
The petitioners also call upon Vic Roads to:
give a hight priority for funding to resolve the dangerous conditions for cycling through Campbellfield, to build the path in conjunction with Moreland Council from Box Forest Road to the Western Ring Road, and with Hume Council from Camp Road to Barry Road, without delay.
Join us in this campaign to Extend the Upfield Bike Path to Upfield (Campaign website) by signing this petition. Our letters have been ignored, so it is time to get more vocal by signing this petition in demanding for the Bike Path to be built.
Photo: the cemented rail cabling on the M80 rail bridge in the portion nominally reserved for future pedestrian/cyclist use. Was this poor planning and design? LXRA said a cycle path can be built on top with addition of a platform next to the cabling and extension of the safety fence on the rail bridge, but have not constructed this.
This is non-peak hour traffic on Sydney Road/Hume Highway at Campbellfield. There are no safe, direct north-south cycle routes provided by Vic Roads through Campbellfield, which should be more than adequate reason why priority should be given to funding the extension of the Upfield Bike Path to Upfield, and for the Minister for Major Projects to ensure the Level Crossing Removal Authority constructs the path from the Western Ring Road Path to Camp Road.
John Englart, Extend the Upfield Bike Path to Upfield Campaign Contact the author of the petition