Vic upgrade worth a punt

Melbourne’s busiest stretch of road will be upgraded to prioritise flow of public transport

Bus and tram users can help solve Melbourne’s traffic problems by submitting their ideas on how public transport can be improved along one of its most congested roads.

Public consultation on the Victorian Government’s plan to reduce congestion on Hoddle St and Punt Rd has begun, with a particular focus on making travel more efficient for bus users and safer for cyclists.

Victorian minister for roads Luke Donnellan says there is an urgent need to improve traffic flow along the notoriously busy road that stretches six kilometres from St Kilda to Collingwood.

"We’re getting on with our plan to reduce congestion on Hoddle Street and Punt Road," he says.

"The government wants to hear from everyone in the community on how they use this road corridor, so that we can ensure Victorians can get home safer and sooner."

One option is having full time clearways, which would involve the removal of on-street parking and allow for the creation of a fifth lane, without the need to physically widen the road.

The focus of this consultation will be on finding ways to improve traffic management over the next two to four years with maximum benefits, but minimum disruption.

An online mapping tool has been created on the VicRoads website and bus users are encouraged to provide feedback on their experiences along particular sections of the road.

Up to 90,000 vehicles travel on Hoddle St each day and up to 40,000 vehicles travel Punt Rd.

The Victorian Government has allocated $60 million to the streamlining Hoddle Street initiative, which will be used to improve traffic management technology and find innovative engineering solutions to speed up public transport on Hoddle St.

About 200,000 people travel across Hoddle Street on intersecting roads, with around half on public transport.

Punt Rd will be subject to less extensive works, with a focus on identifying any short-term improvements that can be made.

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