Build back better, together
Minister for Public Transport, Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll MP, was the guest presenter at the June MTF meeting.
Without the aid of PowerPoint, Mr Carroll talked confidently about his commitment to improving public transport, supporting active transport and working closely with local government and communities.
He praised local government for action on pedestrianisation, pop-up bike lanes and promoting cycling. Inside the Department he wants to make Active Transport another section alongside motor vehicles and public transport.
Responding to a suggestion from MTF cycling ambassador Cr Tom Melican that the State should consider 50/50 funding of cycling infrastructure with councils, Mr Carroll welcomed the idea. ‘Leave it with me, I like your idea a lot. It’s an opportunity to have local government leading the way on cycling,’ he said.
Trams: Another big step forward
Talking about trams, he foreshadowed the positive contribution the next generation of all user accessible trams would have on access across the network. ‘This will be another big step towards eliminating the old step-up trams,’ he said.
He also highlighted the planned shift to Zero Emission Buses set to start in 2025, with all new buses from that date being electric. He was confident that ZEBs and reforming poor performing routes would help boost patronage. ‘A $1 investment in buses returns $5 to the community, so they are a better cost benefit to the community than even rail,’ he said.
Responding to concerns about difficulties integrating buses and active transport ideas into big build infrastructure projects, Mr Carroll said that bus integration and active transport must be considered in all major projects. He said his staff would follow up (and the MTF will provide some case examples).
A theme in his presentation was working with local government as partners. ‘Consultation and taking the community with us is the way ahead,’ he concluded.
A theme in his presentation was working with local government as partners.
Freight Victoria’s presentation on the fascinating topic of freight planning was the highlight of the December MTF meeting.