Works put a spoke in wheel for cyclists

HUME cyclists are miffed at the closure of a major road in Craigieburn, which will be off-limits to riders for the next four months.

Until November, Craigieburn Road East will be closed for construction of a signalised intersection at Epping-Kilmore Road.

Hume Bicycle Users Group (HumeBUG) member Kevin Balaam says the closure by VicRoads is abrupt and will affect rides from Craigieburn to Epping as the road is the only entry for cyclists.

“The closure of Craigieburn Road East would most likely result in a change to the standard routes, making them no longer ‘loops’ but more like ‘out and back’ rides using alternative roads or a much longer distance if using the detours, ” Mr Balaam said.

“I’m not confident that the road would be reopened in time for our ‘summer rides calendar’ to be developed with rides along that section of road.”

The HumeBUG organises group rides throughout the year, often from Hume into the Whittlesea area.

Mr Balaam said the needs of cyclists should have been taken into consideration before the closure.

“Those needs should be included in an approved traffic management plan whenever roadworks are performed,” he said.

“In this case, with such large detours, a sealed bypass of the works site should be included and knowledge of the existence of this bypass be made to cyclists. It’s not unreasonable to expect cyclists to be permitted through on a bypass. Cyclists don’t have the mass and momentum of motor vehicles.”

A VicRoads spokeswoman said the project would reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety.