Is Council reducing Beach Road to a single lane each way?

    No, not at all.  Unfortunately this seems to be a common misconception in the community.  Beach Road will remain a four-lane road with two lanes of traffic each way.  What is happening is a minor narrowing of the lane widths.

    Why are you narrowing the road at all?

    We’re finally building the missing link of Melbourne’s Bay Trail. In order to fit the 3-metre wide cycling/walking path next to the roadside we’ll have to remove a significant amount of vegetation and slightly narrow the road.

    Why are some people unhappy about the plan?

    We understand that building this vital new piece of community infrastructure requires everyone to compromise.

    Some environmentalists would like to see every bit of vegetation protected. They even took Council to VCAT in an attempt to stop construction of a previous section of the Bay Trail in Mentone.

    Some residents would like to see no change to the width of Beach Road. Some visitors want to see no change to the existing parking levels. Some cyclists would like us to extend the ‘Clear Way’ times on weekends.

    Council has attempted to come up with a plan that provides a fair balance of compromise. 

    Why do we need to build the Bay Trail at all?

    Unfortunately there is a gap in Kingston’s section of the Bay Trail.  This is a project that has been 20 years in the making and has strong community support. The Bay Trail will deliver a safe off-road path for pedestrians and cyclists to walk, ride and run along Port Phillip’s beautiful foreshore.

    Once built, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to safely travel along the path from Seaford through to Port Melbourne.

    How big a section is still missing of the Bay Trail?

    It’s a 3.2km section from Mentone Life Saving Club to Mordialloc. Council completed the section from Charman Road to the Mentone Life Saving Club in 2015 and is now ready to get on with completing the project. 

    How much are you narrowing the road by?

    In most sections the road will be narrowed by just 30cm – from a current average of 13.7m to 13.4m.

    At some parts of the road this is larger in order to safely accommodate:

    • indented car parking areas where the road will be narrowed 65 centimetres to 13.05m
    • small sections of the road at a few occasions will narrowed by one metre to 12.7m at bus stops and car park entrances.

    How much will it cost?

    Council estimates the final section will cost $3 million.  The required funding has been set aside in Council’s budget and we’re ready to get started on the detailed design work and start building.

    Do the proposed narrowed lanes meet Australian standards for road widths?

    Yes, even at the narrowest points (bus stops and car park entrances) the proposed road widths meet theAustroads Guide to Road Design guidelines which state lanes should be between 3m and 3.3m for low-speed roads.  

    At the narrowest points, the two centre lanes of Beach Road would be 3m wide with the outer lanes both ways measuring 3.35m – to allow for extra room for cyclists and buses. For the majority of the road section these outer lanes will be expanded to 3.7m. 

    How much vegetation are you removing?

    The proposed path for the Bay Trail will require around 0.85hectares of coastal vegetation be removed from the Kingston foreshore. 

    How will the addition of the Bay Trail impact on parking?

    There will be some changes to parking in the area to accommodate the new Bay Trail.
    Overall there will be 861 car parking spaces available – some in foreshore car parks, some in indented off-road parking and some on-road parking spaces.  While we are creating 56 new formalised indented car parking spaces, overall there will be a loss of 43 car parking spaces. 

    What sort of vegetation is there?

    There is a mix of vegetation planted over the past 20 years to help stabilise the fragile foreshore environmental and a small amount of very valuable original remnant coastal vegetation from before European settlement.

    We’re focusing on protecting the higher-value vegetation as a priority in the design. 

    Will there be a clearway on Beach Road to cater for the thousands of cyclists that use the area every weekend?

    Yes.  We acknowledge that the Bay Trail will be great for recreational bike riders but is not suitable for the more serious cyclists that regularly use Beach Road for weekend rides. 

    For that reason, the existing ‘No Stopping’ signs that restrict parking on the residential side of Beach Road on weekends from 6am-10am will be retained and extended to the foreshore side of the road. This will allow cyclists to safely use the left-hand lane without being obstructed by parked cars and also ensures traffic can flow more freely in the right-hand lane. 

    What consultation did you do on the plan?

    In February 2016 we held extensive consultation on the Bay Trail including drop-in sessions along the foreshore, wide-scale letter drop to homes in the area and a social media campaign.

    We asked the community their thoughts on whether they wanted the Bay Trail project finally completed and, if so, how they’d like to see that happen. More than 300 people had their say with 270 taking part in an online survey and 60 people attending a drop-in session.

    They were asked whether they preferred a back of kerb roadside option or an alternative alignment with a mix of back of kerb and existing pathways. The results of the survey demonstrated overwhelming support (82%) for a back of kerb option. Other themes raised by the community during the consultation period included:

    • ‘get on with’ completing the project
    • promote personal safety by keeping the path visible from the street.
    • retain gravel walking path to provide some separation between pedestrians and cyclists
    • minimise vegetation loss.

    Why didn’t you do further consultation on this particular plan?

    This plan has been adopted based on that extensive 2016 community feedback. It makes a positive move to get on with the project and delivers a back-of-kerb roadside option that keeps path users safely in view from the street, retains the other existing walking paths and minimises vegetation loss.