By Tom McNish
CYCLISTS, community leaders and former Olympian Drew Ginn are calling for cycling shoulders to be added to Bunurong Coastal Road between Cape Paterson and Inverloch.
The diverse community groups believe adding lanes would make the road safer for both riders and drivers.
Cape Paterson resident and cyclist Rod McGregor has found large community support for road shoulders.
“As times get busier, more drivers and cyclists use the road. The sad reality is unless things are done soon, there will be accidents,” he said.
Cape Paterson Residents and Ratepayers member John Gilliland knows the road is well used, although feared by many locals.
“This is an important part of Bass Coast cycling, hundreds of cyclists ride the loop most days,” John said.
“I know quite a lot of locals who won’t ride the coast road because of the risk.
“Sometimes when you’re riding, there’ll be four or five cars backed up, they’ve got to be patient, but if they pull out and have an accident, it’s caused by no space,” he said.
Rod is familiar with the traffic risk.
“There’s more chance of an accident between two cars than an accident with a cyclist,” Rod said.
John added: “When you get an opportunity to do something like this, it has to be done. In the future there will be too many people for such a project.”
Olympic champion and passionate cyclist Drew Ginn agreed planning for a shared and safe future was essential.
“Things like the Yallock Bulluk trails are so good because they look after the environment but you also keep everyone safe,” Drew said.
“You want drivers to come down and enjoy the coastline, but you also want runners and road users to feel safe to enjoy it too.”
The group would like to see the Wonthaggi to Cape shoulder extended.
“Wonthaggi to Cape has a shoulder and it is pretty safe, it requires a car or a group of people to do something pretty stupid to have danger; the extension of that is to go to Inverloch, why would you build it to there and stop?
“Anyone you see, riding, running, cycling through there, it feels actually safe. As soon as you come out here, though, the most picturesque part of the coast in Victoria, you go, ‘it’s pretty dangerous’.
“And people are driving along watching, ‘oh look at the ocean’, not paying attention.”
They are calling for both sides of the road to have cycling lanes.
“Do it properly,” he said.
The motion is supported by Phillip Island Bicycle Users Group, Leongatha Cycling Club, Bass Coast Cycle Challenge and Family Festival, Westernport Roadlines, Cape Paterson Residents and Ratepayers Association, Wonthaggi Business and Tourism Association, and Drew Ginn.