Cycling’s ‘missing link’ promised

Greens Dandenong candidate Matthew Kirwan proposes to link up Walker Street's 'bike lane to nowhere'.

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

The Greens have promised $11 million to build a bike path’s ‘missing link’ between Yarraman train station and central Dandenong.

The Djerring Trail extension has been sought by cyclists and the City of Greater Dandenong for several years, Greens Dandenong candidate Matthew Kirwan said.

“Cyclists (currently) have to navigate the dangerous Railway Parade intersection with Jones Road and Bennet Street.

“Few are prepared to do that.”

The link was originally promised as part of building Eastlink, Mr Kirwan said.

The Djerring Trail was also originally pitched as a Caulfield to Dandenong shared-use path during the ‘Sky Rail’ project. However it only goes as far as Caulfield to Yarraman.

Emblematic of this is a 15-year-old cycle lane in Walker Street that “is almost never used as it connects to nothing”, Mr Kirwan said.

“It is a well built and designed dedicated cycle lane that leads nowhere.

“Increased cycling use is one of the success factors that need to be addressed to make the Revitalising Central Dandenong project work and enable commuter and shopper cycling into central Dandenong, reducing traffic and enabling choice.

“Yet the Victorian Labor Government have not acted on this critical local transport issue for over a decade.”

The project would be part of the Greens’ $2.5 billion Active Transport Fund.

In the lead-up to this year’s federal and state elections, Greater Dandenong Council identified the link as one of three key bicycle trail projects.

“Council is pleased to now see the high level of support for this project at a state level and are very keen to see funding for this critical link provided as soon as possible,” mayor Eden Foster said.

She said it was “disappointing” that the State Government’s promised Djerring Trail stopped at Yarraman.

“The construction of the Djerring Trail has been an outstanding success as evidenced by the number of cyclists and walkers using this route.

“However, it is a poor outcome when users cannot easily and safely continue towards Dandenong when they reach Yarraman railway station.”

The council, with help from the Government and bike groups, had developed designs for the uncompleted link, Cr Foster said.

Its preferred route was through Greaves Reserve and along Railway Parade into Dandenong.