VicRoads push on with Ballarat bike tracks as three cyclists are hit

VicRoads is hoping to start improving bike infrastructure across Ballarat in the coming months after a series of cyclists were struck by motorists over the past week. 

A proposed bike path near Howitt Street.

A proposed bike path near Howitt Street.

The state government was forced to backflip on its plans for a bike path along Sturt Street earlier this year after sustained pressure from CBD traders. 

The $9.3 million project announced in December 2017 included a suite of measures outside of central Ballarat, including a new bike trail running parallel with Howitt Street and new paths along Creswick Road and Macarthur Street. 

In a statement VicRoads western Victoria acting director Mal Kersting said the organisation was creating alternative designs for cycling along Sturt Street based on consultation with the community. 

“We're continuing to work closely with the City of Ballarat and other interested parties to deliver the most appropriate and practical designs possible.”

Mal Kersting

Mal Kersting

“The safety of all road users remains our number one priority and we treat all incidents resulting in any form of injury seriously.” 

It comes after a cyclist was struck in Ballarat East on Thursday morning, the third such instance to take place in the city in the past week. 

Since the government blackflip neither VicRoads or the City of Ballarat have provided any detail on the potential replacement avenues which may be built instead of the Sturt Street plan.  

City of Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said in a statement “there will be no further works in Sturt Street until that part of the project is endorsed by the community”. 

“We want to be recognised not just for the road nationals but as a cycle friendly city generally,” the statement read. 

The state government has remained steadfast in its opposition to imposing a one-metre passing law which is in place elsewhere in the state, however speaking to The Courier earlier this year, opposition leader Matthew Guy pledged to adopt the law if his party was to win government at the election.