Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll has today announced a major investment in making the choice to ride a bike in Melbourne easier and safer with 100km of pop up bike lanes to be delivered over the next two years and minimum passing distances adopted across the state.

Working with local governments, the investment of $13 million will deliver congestion busting pop up lanes across key inner Melbourne suburbs, help relieve congestion and provide safe routes for people who would like to choose active travel to work in the CBD.

The power of strong concerted action and advocacy by many groups has undoubtedly supported this decision by the Victorian government and it sets a strong precedent in support of transport alternatives for those that live within cycling distance of the heart of Melbourne.

We Ride Australia’s short video ‘Let’s Keep Moving’ emphasised the huge opportunity for bicycle commuting in Victoria by explaining that 40% of all trips in Greater Melbourne and more than half of all trips in the larger regional centres in Victoria are 3 kilometres or less – an easy cycle at any time of day.

The adoption of mandatory passing distance, an initiative of the Amy Gillett Foundation under the #ametrematters banner, that will be legislated in 2021, is also notable as Victoria was the last state without any such law. Combined with better infrastructure provision, the barriers to getting more people cycling in the state are being addressed and should assist with post-COVID recovery.

Minister Carroll, in announcing the plan to adopt safe passing distance and invest to build 100km of new bike lanes, said,

“The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we move around Melbourne – that’s why we’re building over 100km of pop-up bike lanes, providing an alternative for shorter trips and making it easier and safer to get to and from the CBD.”

“This $13 million investment will not only boost safety, but also support local jobs as we head towards COVIDNormal.”

“We also know that giving people cycling that little bit of extra space can help us all get home safely – so we’re introducing minimum passing distances, to keep cars and cyclists safely apart and save lives on our roads.”

Well done Minister Carroll, we look forward to seeing the work progress to make the choice to ride a bike for daily trips easier, safer and simpler, something that will benefit all Victorians.

Ministerial media statement:

Let’s Keep Moving video animation: