Melbourne City Council tonight deferred, at the request of stakeholders, the adoption of the City of Melbourne Road Safety Plan amidst concern that the report and the consultation process was flawed and lacking public confidence.
Representatives of Melbourne’s four main Motorcycle and Scooter Riders Associations, representing over 380,000 members, called on the Council to deffer the report so as to allow for more consideration of the needs of motorcycle and scooter rider’s safety concerns.
Spokesperson for the Motorbike and Scooter riders said “The Council report included a number of mother hood statements and lacked causing on the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists but ignore concerns of two wheel power riders and other road users“
Community activist and scooter rider, Anthony van der Craats, said that “The City Council was “Engineering Congestion” and that the city was making road safety worst as a result. There is a need to stop and review the impact of the Council’s Transport Strategy plan so that all road users were given equal consideration“.
The Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, also expressed concern that report did not include in a holistic manner consideration of other road users such as cars, trucks and vans, all which need to consulted.
Emergency Access Restricted
Mr van der Craats said “The Road Safety Report also failed to consult Emergency Services such as the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Ambulance Victoria“.
During question time Mr van der Craats expressed his condolence for Melbourne’s Sister City Boston and the Terrorist attacks that were carried out earlier in the day.
These tragic events raised concern as to Melbourne’s preparedness for such emergencies. There is growing concern recent road works and engineering restrictions in the City may have an adverse impact on the response time of Emergency Vehicles in the City.
Mr van der craats called on the City of Melbourne as part of is Road Safety Strategy to undertake a serious of Stress Testing involving the emergency services to ensure that the city engineering services do not prevent or hinder emergency service response times. “There is ongoing concern that an event such as what occurred in Boston today could be a disaster if Firetrucks and Ambulances were not able to pass trams blocking the major transit routes. The new Super Stops and bicycle paths in particular constitute a real risk to public safety“
Councillor Richard Foster earlier today reported that he will not be supporting the reduction of traffic lanes on Princess Bridge from two lanes to one.
Princess Bridge is a major access route to the City and the nearby Alfred Emergency Critical Care Hospital. A reduction in vehicular access could have serious impact on Ambulance response times and could conceivable cost lives.
The fact that the City of Melbourne had not consulted our emergency services or reviewed their needs was a major oversight.
The City Engineers proposal to create further congestion on Princes Bridge has been rejected by the RACV, VicRoads and other community groups.
Victoria’ Premier, Dr Napthine, on Radio 3AW Neil Mitchel earlier this week, cast doubt over the proposal following overwhelming community rejection.
Mr van der Craats said “There is no support other than from Council Engineers and the Green Bicycle Lobby group. The State Government must rain in the City Council and put an end to the Congestion creation strategy pursued by the Greens”.
Community representatives will meet with Opposition Spokesperson Luke Donellan to seek his support in stopping this ill-considered proposal
The Engineering Services Director, Geoff Robinson, has until July 9 to address stakeholder concerns and present a workable and accepted Road Traffic proposal