Plan for ‘daunting’ Hampshire Road wins cyclists’ backing

Cyclists have welcomed Brimbank council’s plans to make Hampshire Road more bicycle-friendly.

The council will investigate the removal of buses from the southern end of Hampshire Road to provide better access for pedestrians and cyclists.

The proposal is part of a new strategy being prepared for Sunshine’s main thoroughfare.

Brimbank Bicycle Users Group (BrimBUG) president Ferdi Saliba (pictured) welcomed the idea.

“Cycling down Hampshire Road is somewhat daunting as there are no defined bike lanes,” he said. “I’ve nearly been ‘doored’ in the narrower section near the station.

“Council has recently put in bike lanes in Devonshire Road to Churchill Avenue and that’s been a great improvement.

‘‘BrimBUG has always maintained that if cycling infrastructure is put in, people will use it as it affords greater rider safety.”

A council report shows few cyclists use Hampshire Road, with more than two thirds of those riders observed preferring to use footpaths.

“This suggests that the existing roadway is perceived by cyclists as being unsafe,” the report says.

The council will consider diverting traffic from the town centre by making alternative roads more attractive. It will also consider creating a “shared zone” south of Devonshire Road, dedicated cycle lanes north of Devonshire Road, and additional cyclist-only areas within the town centre.

Residents recently identified trees and landscaping, green lawn and more public events as the area’s top three needs.

The council is planning to carry out the upgrades in three stages over three to four years.

More consultation is planned before the plan is presented to administrators early next year.