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In this three part series the SHPA reviews the Concept Plan for the Level Crossing Removal Project.

PART 3 REVIEWS THE MAIN SHARED PATH/BICYCLE LINK IN THE CONCEPT PLAN AND THE ROAD UNDERPASSES THAT FORM THE BOOKENDS OF THE RAIL CORRIDOR


Shared Path

The Surrey Hills Progress Association supports a shared path/bicycle link that could form part of the Hawthorn to Box Hill link currently being studied by AECOM and the Department of Transport.


If the shared path is safe, well lit and avoids the character of a ‘bicycle freeway’ we believe it could become an important asset in the local transport network. It would allow people of all ages and abilities to walk and ride safely to local activity centres (Box Hill, Mont Albert, Surrey Hills, Canterbury and Camberwell) and to railway stations and local schools, and undertake both short and long trips.


It could help to reduce local area traffic, to provide strong economic support to the activity centres and better connect the community to schools, their local shops and other community services.


The Progress Association agrees with the Metro East Bicycle User Group that the path should ideally run under main roads, like Mont Albert Road and Union Road. However if this is not realistic in the immediate time frame the Association certainly believes it should be optioned into the project, to be implemented at a future date.


Underpasses at Robinson Road, Surrey Hills and Creswick Lane, Mont Albert

The Association has noted that the above road underpasses, at either end of the rail corridor (covered by the Level Crossing Removal Project), are not shown on the project concept plan and we therefore assume the authority intends to maintain the status quo. These provide safe and convenient access under the railway line for local traffic and must be retained.


Concerns have been raised about pedestrian safety through the underpasses. While the Association understands that is a responsibility of the local councils to address, widening of the underpasses to allow separated pedestrian access falls within the remit of Vicrail with whom Level Crossing Removal Authority would closely liaise with.