Minister’s reply re. Mount Barker freeway interchange

Transport Minister Stephen Mulligan has replied to our letter, 30 September, which asked about how cyclists are being considered in the planning for the new Freeway interchange between Mount Barker and Nairne. We made the point that these two towns are fast growing, with traffic increases to match. Things will become even worse for cyclists riding between the two towns when there is a new freeway access point.

Stephen Mullighan doesn’t say so, but the short answer seems to be that cyclists haven’t been considered in the planning of the new interchange.

The existing underpass is not being widened, so there is no space for cyclists and pedestrians apart from a 1.3m advisory lane on either side of the road. Cyclists will have to share this with pedestrians.

There will be bike lanes along Bald Hills Road, except through the underpass and at the intersection with Old Princes Highway. As usual, they will disappear where they are needed.

What is hard to understand is why there is no provision for cyclists to cope with the “upgraded” and much busier intersection of Bald Hills Road and Old Princes Highway.

Apparently Mount Barker Council and DPTI are working together to provide a shared use path along Little Dublin Road (a minor road alongside the Freeway that doesn’t go anywhere). And, we are told, there are plans for a shared use path around the intersection.

So one day recreational cyclists might be catered for off road, but not those who want to use the road.

You can read the Minister’s response here.

We appreciate the efforts the government has taken in changing the laws to giving cyclists a metre and to allow riding on footpaths.

But it will have to do this and much more to meet its cycling target, when new road infrastructure just makes it easier to drive and worse to cycle.