Council plans for more bikes and doubling its fleet of EVs

A draft transport strategy (PDF) for Hume, written by council staff, appeared to receive a lukewarm welcome by councillors on Monday 8 July when they voted to receive it.

The strategy document indicates that by 2035 council wants twice as many cyclists on the road, 80% of residents to be satisfied with the local road network, and a doubling of the council’s electric car fleet. The council currently has 183 cars in its fleet of which seven are EVs.

The report was delivered to councillors by deputy mayor Cllr Karen Sherry on Monday 8 July 2024, and includes improving transport options and promoting more walking and cycling (1% of people in Hume get around on a bike (2021 census)).

Council is also advocating for more train and bus services, and to improve safety (and perceptions of safety), and promote the up-take of electric vehicles – including cars, electric scooters, and e-bikes.

Public consultation on the strategy, which does not include roads and transport services managed by the state government, attracted 190 submissions.

Deputy mayor Cllr Karen Sherry.
Deputy mayor Cllr Karen Sherry.

“Looking at the feedback from residents, there is a desire to escape car dependency,” said Cllr Sherry.

“The strategy does take into account the spacial dispersion of our city, it is aiming to improve transport choices, boost the local economy, enhance community well-being, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“There is more emphasis on slower travel over so-called faster modes such as cars – so walking and cycling, there is a bit more emphasis on that.”

Turning to council staff, she said that in addition to the published strategy, they have to factor in density, diversity, design, destination, accessibility, the [walking] distance to public transport, demand management, and placemaking.

“You can have all the strategies in the world in how you might like it to look in terms of a bike path here and there, but there are other factors such as the built environment, and a reason for people to go to a destination,” said Cllr Sherry.

“And we should also be reminded of the characteristics of walkable communities, they should be connected, convivial, conspicuous – that is ‘obvious’ – comfortable, and convenient.

“People aren’t going to walk there if a place is covered in rubbish and graffiti, if there’s obstacles, the footpath’s broken.”

Cllr Sherry says a high percentage of people living in Hume depend on their cars to get to work.

“We need to always ensure that we get jobs and opportunities in Hume and people not having to travel one or two hours a day. I look forward to this draft transport strategy being implemented at the appropriate time.”

Cllr Sherry was the only councillor to speak to the transport strategy.