Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle announced today that he will back down from his plan to introduce a ban on cyclists along Flinders, Lonsdale and Kings street.
He said the idea was intended to promote the safety of cyclists, not simply as a prohibition.
The Bicycle Network was delighted by Mr Doyle’s backdown.
“It is welcome to hear the Lord Mayor of Melbourne back down from his bike ban on radio this morning,” the network’s general manager of government and external relations, Chris Carpenter, told The Newsroom. “Any talk of banning bikes is a dead-end street. The Council has previously agreed that Flinders Street should be a priority bicycle route, so this shift in view by the Lord Mayor is quite odd.”
While on air with Neil Mitchell, Mr Doyle said that he likes the idea of some city streets being free of cyclists, but accepted it wouldn’t work for all.
“We say there are some areas where cars can’t go, buses can’t go, and that’s all because of safety. Isn’t there also an argument about where bikes can’t go?”
Cyclists were divided in their reaction. “I think it’s stupid,” James McIntyre, a 25-year-old from North Melbourne told The Newsroom. “A lot of cyclists, like myself, use this [Flinders] street every day to get to work. If they introduce a ban, how are we going to get there on time?” – Photo and report by Sarah Batt