Forum to discuss transport issues for Moreland prior to 2022 state election

September 3, 2022 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Metropolitan Transport Forum: Transport and Moreland for Victorian election 2022

Some of the local Candidates for the 2022 state election will discuss transport issues for Moreland and the northern region in a forum organised by The Metropolitan Transport Forum and hosted by the City of Moreland at Brunswick Town Hall on 4 October 2022.

Bookings are free but tickets limited at the event, which will also be broadcast live. Register at Eventbrite

Some of the local issues already flagged for discussion include:

  • frequency and reliability of trains on the Upfield Line;
  • better bus services especially on Sundays;
  • more level access tram stops to boost accessibility for all;
  • funding of local cycling infrastructure.

Duplication and extension of the Upfield line should also feature prominently. Due to the poor heavy rail public transport in the suburbs north of Moreland, many people drive congesting local arterial roads and station car parks. The State government paid $5 million for a report on the Somerton link in 2018, and has refused to make this report public. Just recently completed was a 3.5km upgrade to the M80 Western Ring Road for $518 million, yet silence on improving the Upfield rail corridor.

Speakers at the forum include:

  • Tim Read MLA Brunswick
  • Fiona Patten MLC Northern Metro Region
  • Evan Mulholland, Liberal candidate for Northern Metro Region
  • Mike Williams, Labor candidate for Brunswick

Automotive transport contributes an estimated 12 per cent of Moreland greenhouse gas emissions as of June 2020. Motorbikes add another 1 per cent. Buses also add 1 per cent. (Snapshort climate)

The bus fleet should be converted to electric buses as soon as practicable from local Victorian manufacturing.

While transition to Electric vehicles needs to be progressed, this won’t solve all the issues. Traffic congestion will still be a problem. Abrasive particulate pollution from vehicles is a major health issue, and may actually marginally increase due to Electric vehicles being heavier than similar petrol/diesel models.

OECD suggests improve public transport, walking and cycling

In December 2020 the OECD suggested that “electric vehicles should not be exempted from tolls and congestion charges aimed at reducing road traffic emissions. Instead, road traffic regulations should consider both exhaust and “non-exhaust” emissions from all vehicles and should take into account factors like vehicle weight and tyre composition. Policy makers should also favour measures that reduce driving distances, limit urban vehicle access and encourage public transport, walking and cycling.”

It is important that public transport, cycling and walking be encouraged and infrastructure be put in place to encourage mobility mode shift.

International Energy Agency: need to cut oil use, provide better cycling infrastructure

The International Energy Agency in March 2022 put out a document on A 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use. The fourth point in this plan was to “Make public transport cheaper; incentivise micro-mobility, walking and cycling. Most of these actions are actionable at state and Federal level, but providing better infrastructure for cycling is definitely important for the Council to implement. We have all seen how global events have increased fuel prices.

Climate Council articulates transition to using sustainable transport

The Climate Council published a sustainable transport policy guide in July 2022. It had 3 main policy asks:

  1. Allocate Appropriate Budget For Public Transport, Walking And Bike-Riding In Line With Best Practice And The Public’s Needs
  2. Encouraging electric bike (e-bike) uptake
  3. Convert the state’s bus fleet to clean, Quiet and zero-emission buses

Protected cycling lanes are important to encourage mode change, particularly in the north of the municipality.

Importance of Protected cycling infrastructure to increase cycling

A recent academic study by Pearson et al (March 2022) which focussed on the potential for increasing cycling in Melbourne, provides justification for protected cycling infrastructure to encourage people interested in cycling to start doing so. This is particularly important for women interested in starting to cycle. The researchers conclude that “Our results show the potential for substantial increases in cycling participation, but only when high-quality cycling infrastructure is provided.”

Putting in protected infrastructure for cycling can encourage more people to cycle, which will also reduce congestion and is also important for some people to reduce mobility costs with the current escalating of the costs of living. This is also an equity issue. more people on lower incomes tend to cycle due to reduced cost. Women are more likely to cycle if there is protected cycling infrastructure to feel safe.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment report author Dr Valérie Masson-Delmotte says “In fact, cycling is one of the lifestyle changes with the largest potential to reduce our individual carbon footprint.” Read more on what the IPCC report says on importance of cycling.

IPCC 5th Assessment report on cycling

Victoria falling behind on funding active transport

Melbourne is falling behind Sydney in active transport, particularly cycling infrastructure rollout and budgeting. NSW has an Active Transport Minister, Rob Stokes, with a five year budget for cycling and walking of $980 million, an amount which Stokes wants to double.

Victorian State Government budget 2022 on cycling: “There is roughly $21.8 million allocated for active transport, with the Department of Transport earmarking a number of bike projects across metropolitan and regional Victoria.” says Bicycle Network, who also highlight some cycling infrastructure being built as part of major transport projects and upgrades. It seems the Victorian state government is falling far behind in funding active transport infrastructure for both liesure and commuting as compared with New South Wales.

Victoria is not on track in ramping up sustainable transport to address the climate emergency.

References:

Entry filed under: cycling, meetings, news, Policy, public transport, transport, Victorian Government, Vote Climate, walking. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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