The tabling by the Office of the Auditor General of his report into congestion in Perth and the role played by Main Roads also highlighted a matter of interest to bicycle riders, namely the Department of Transport’s Moving People Network Plan or rather the missing in action, Moving People Network Plan.
The Alleged Moving People Network Plan
Why am I writing about The Moving People Network Plan? Well as the Auditor General notes in his report into Main Roads and congestion, this report is also important to bicycle riders and riders road safety. The Auditor General notes that the Plan is
aimed at defining the function of the road network and improving the design for road based transit and cycling infrastructure. It was intended to support the whole-of—government land use strategy Directions 2031 and Beyond to ensure that transport and land use are linked to provide sustainable outcomes.
Yes, this plan is about improving the design of cycling infrastructure which we are repeatedly told by the likes of the Bicycle Transport Alliance is about improving cyclists’ safety on the road. So what do we know about this Plan and the role it is playing? Not a lot I am afraid.
What is the Status of the Moving People Network Plan?
Well the Plan is very much in limbo, it is a plan going nowhere according to the Auditor General who found … [my bold]
that the Moving People Network Plan has been in draft since September 2013 but has not been approved. The supporting Metropolitan Road Network Plan, which was to provide initiatives and strategies for network management has not been completed, although other plans and polices have been created. These include DoT’s Perth CBD Transport Plan and Main Roads’ Traffic Congestion Management Strategy.
The four core elements of the Moving People Network Plan are: identifying road use priority, establishing network operating plans, assessing operating performance and using network assessment to evaluate benefits of concepts and projects. These are key to ensuring decisions that impact on congestion are only made after considering strategic and wider network
It seems that the Minister of Transport, The Honourable Dean Nalder who is responsible for Moving People Network Plan needs to explain why nothing has happened with the Plan despite its active promotion in 2013. It seems it was important then as Mr Steve Beyer, Executive Director: Integrated Transport Planning had no problem spouting its merits at a TravelSmart Forum Transport in Perth – The Big Picture in August 2013. Furthermore Mr Reece Waldock, Director General – Transport made a glowing statement about the Plan in the forward to the Department of Transport Annual Report 2012-13…
The Moving People Network Plan sets a strategic approach to moving Perth and Peel’s rapidly growing population. It focuses on moving people, not vehicles, to manage congestion. Just as there is no one solution for congestion, we now have a number of short and longer-term plans in place that aim to manage it into the future, including In Motion: A 20-Year Public Transport Plan for Perth and Peel, the CBD Transport Plan and the Western Australian Bicycle Network Plan.
It would seem the community of Western Australia is owed an explanation from Minister Nalder detailing what steps are being taken to adopt the plan and what steps are being taken to put in place a strategic plan for cycling infrastructure in Perth.
For the record the Minister has been approached and now doubt in three months time I might get a response. If I do I will update this blog.