As Major Road Projects Victoria begins preliminary work on the Queen Street Bridge upgrade, Hobsons Bay City Council has renewed its call for a pedestrian and cycling link to be incorporated into the bridge’s future.
In July 2019, Council delivered a public advocacy campaign, urging the state government to add a pedestrian or cycling lane during the bridge strengthening upgrade, which is consistent with Council’s long term view that a safe connection between the shared trails on either side of the bridge is critical. Council asked the community to join its campaign and received more than 1,000 responses in support.
Council acknowledges that while the bridge strengthening preliminary works have begun, it is still urging the state government to incorporate a pedestrian crossing into the works package.
The bridge is one of the key connectors between the west and east of the municipality and has no safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists who have no other option but to make a 1.6km detour to cross the Laverton Creek as a part of the Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail connection.
While the pedestrian bridge downstream is safe, many cyclists and pedestrians regularly put themselves at great risk by avoiding the extensive detour, instead opting to ride or walk on the narrow shoulder of the Queen Street Bridge that carries more than 17,000 vehicles per day.
Council has made consistent requests over recent years to VicRoads and State Ministers seeking support to fund the design and construction of this much needed pedestrian connection along a major road corridor.
On Friday 6 December, Mayor of Hobsons Bay Councillor Colleen Gates and Deputy Mayor Councillor Sandra Wilson met with Attorney General and Member for Altona District the Hon. Jill Hennessy to hand over the signed postcards, submitted by the community, calling for a safer option (pictured right).
As noted by Mayor of Hobsons Bay Councillor Colleen Gates
“The Queen Street Bridge provides a vital link in Hobsons Bay’s transport network and not just for vehicles. The need for this bridge to provide safe access for cyclists and pedestrians, particularly for vulnerable residents such as children and the elderly who cannot walk the extra distance, is justified. We are urging the state government to take action.
“Major Road Projects Victoria has begun the early work for their scheduled upgrade to the bridge and we anticipate that major road disruptions from January through to May 2020 will affect our local community. This bridge is one of only 3 exit points from the suburb of Altona Meadows and these works will result in significant inconveniences for our community but will not deliver on safe cycling and pedestrian access as a key outcome of the works.”
As noted by Deputy Mayor of Hobsons Bay Councillor Sandra Wilson
“Council has made significant investment in the area, including millions of dollars towards the nearby trails on either side of the bridge and $12 million into the nearby Altona Sports Centre. Safe pedestrian and cycling access on the Queen Street Bridge is the last piece to the puzzle to link it all together.
“We strongly encourage active and sustainable transport and to deny the local community access to basic infrastructure that enables them to move around their neighbourhood safely is a real shame. Simply put, the Queen Street Bridge should be as much about the safe movement of people choosing to walk and cycle as it is about accommodating an increasing number of vehicles.