The Bellarine / Road Transport issues.

The Drysdale Ring Road Drysdale Vic 3222( any ring road) would be a time saver, help to reduce accidents and also reduce the carbon emissions ( refer Deakin report Regional Urban Growth in Coastal Victoria – Leao / Elkadi July 2011).
However, in the short term –
1. The current Jetty Road / Grubb Road roundabout needs a slip lane from Grubb Road (travelling northwards from OG) and turning left into Portarlington Rd ( travelling towards Geelong) to take some of the pressure off the roundabout.
2. Improving access to the schools by extending Peninsula Drive to Belchers Road, for traffic to and from the south, would greatly help to relieve congestion at the roundabout during school hours.
Longer term, construct new and maintain existing roads to Australian Standards to encourage more people to ride more safely to and from school and work eg. an aim of Bike Safe.
And finally, seriously consider the future for ferry & water taxi transport to and from The Bellarine in support of public transport and in lieu of personal vehicle transport.
And remember that ANY ADDITIONAL road works need to consider the huge surge in traffic over and during holiday seasons when population figures go from 45,000 to in excess of 110,000 and the type of traffic eg. boats on trailers, cars towing caravans, changes significantly from the usual off season type and traffic flows.
I am also taking as a given that CfB also condones that any new roads have really good cycling infrastructure – would I be right???
Absolutely correct ….. and possibly cycle / pedestrian only pathways adjacent to the main route.
Have you heard anyone mooting a third lane on the Portarlington Highway, like our neighbour appears to have?  And if so, where might that bottleneck, do you think?  Before, on or after the ring road (surely they wouldn’t do it before doing the ring road).
The crossing I’m familiar with comes off the Geelong Ring Road across the river south of Breakwater and links to the Bellarine Highway / Port Road by  Moolap Station Road – the bypass through to Leopold would appear to be similar with just a differing “tail piece”.
No – there is provision for additional lanes between Drysdale and Port but not yet – get the Drysdale Ring Road in before any further work proceeds.
The bottlenecks in part are caused by heavy vehicles slowing, stopping, then having to get up to speed – they take up too much travel space. The key is to keep the traffic moving from point to point even if it means building flyovers or drive unders.
There’s two parts to the challenge – one within The Bellarine and the other getting into / out of The Bellarine
Cars will be here for many more years – their point to point convenience is their key – even if the cost of fuel doubles.  Trucks and busses are a different proposition.  In fact, the existing rail line between Geelong and Queenscliff could well be used for light rail OR busses only.
Right now, the immediate solutions are to –
a) Improve road widths and surfaces to encourage alternative transport modes eg. cyclists
b) Hub the busses at the yet to be established Drysdale Terminal located between Palmerston and High Streets and Eversley and Granville Streets.
c) Run express services to and from the Terminal / Geelong during peak periods with feeder services between the outlying townships incl. Ocean Grove.
d) Upgrade the commuter facilities like bus stops to encourage greater use of busses and reduce the potential stigma of traveling by public transport – make travelling by public transport the preferred option.  Install more appropriate bus stops – with more road space to move off and back onto the road together with more practical and stylish commuter shelters.
e) Use communication technology to have commuters “book” their seat and where possible, the when is between peak periods, pick up from the nearest bus stop – if impractical, pick up from home in special cases.
f) Replace / limit the need for medical visits to Geelong for the elderly with an online service centred at say local Neighbourhood Houses.
You’ve highlighted the problems, but focussing on the Bellarine and Port highways, what are the solutions?  More lanes?  Changing our commuting habits and using busses or working from home?
Our thinking is based on the current two entry points from the west ie. Portarlington  Road and Bellarine Highway;  the entry point from the south through Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove; the current entry / exit point at Queenscliff; and finally the proposed Safe Harbour facility at Portarlington.
Next are the key features – the waste receival facility (WRF) east of Drysdale, the sand mines at the back of Indented Head / St Leonards, the primary & secondary education facilities in and to the south of Drysdale, and finally the steady population / housing growth at Ocean Grove, Point Lonsdale, St Leonards, Portarlington, Drysdale/Clifton Springs, and Leopold.
The three obvious critical factors right now are as follows –
1. School traffic – bus and car transport concentrated during school start / finish times.
2. Construction traffic ( tradies ) and the constant flow of building material delivery vehicles.
3. Waste collection / delivery – domestic, commercial and industrial and delivery to the WRF.
let alone the steady growth of single passenger work journey vehicles.
These in turn are further compounded by the following out of sync public transport / rail time links – there are 4 express services from Geelong to Melbourne each day, however, only 1 of these 4 is doable due to Bus timetable / the same 4 services run express back to Geelong but the only one that is doable is non-express (17:32 train) or wait another 20mins.

McHarrys Bus Timetable in relation to Vline timetable to Melbourne, return
Travelling to Melbourne
Portarlington Geelong Station Geelong Station Southern Cross Total Travel Time Notes
Depart Arrive Depart Arrive
5:55 6:35 6:52 7:46 1:51 Only viable option with 45mins to get at
work at 9am
6:51 7:31 7:53 8:53 2:02 Not enough time to start work at 9am
Returning from Melbourne
Southern Cross Geelong Station Geelong Station Portarlington Total Travel Time Notes
Depart Arrive Depart Arrive
17:21 18:12 18:20 19:05 1:44 Assuming you can get from work to station
in 21 mins
If train is delayed by 8 mins, next bus it
1 hour later.
Total travel 3:30 mins
17:32 18:32 19:25 20:04 2:32 Total travel time is 4 hours, 23 mins everyday
17:54 18:49 21:01 21:55 4:01 Total travel time is 5 hours, 52 mins everyday

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