IMPROVED bus networks and inter-city rail could form part of a long-term solution to Bendigo’s transport concerns, as the council looks at transport plans for the future.
The City of Greater Bendigo has announced it will employ a full-time senior integrated transport planner to head its Integrated Transport and Land Use Strategy.
Katherine Wrzesinki, a senior sustainable transport planner with Stonnington Council, will take on the role in October and focus on housing and transport developments to meet the needs of Bendigo’s growing population.
The council’s strategy manager, Nick Byrne, said Ms Wrzesinki would drive the development but the strategy would be based on surveys and community involvement.
Mr Byrne said council and state agencies would help design the vision for the future, along with proposals from members of the public. “We want to work with the community to target changes in transport,” he said.
“It’s about looking at better access to different forms of transport, how we can increase frequency of buses, and targeting changes and upgrades to public transport.”
Bendigo Take Action Group president Greg Clohesy said the community group had already been in touch with Ms Wrzesinki to put forward its views.
Mr Clohesy said he was glad that grassroots organisations would be involved in the stakeholder engagement process and have their voices heard.
“Our committee is looking forward to collaborating with Ms Wrzesinki and providing a conduit for community input,” he said.
Among the developments the strategy will consider are expansion of the bus network and possible use of the city’s rail network.
Mr Byrne said the strategy would look at utilising more train services within Bendigo, to stations in Epsom and Eaglehawk.
“Inter-city rail links could be a long-term plan,” he said.
“In the short to mid-term the opportunity exists to improve frequency of bus services.”
Mr Byrne said the strategy would also look at the growing rate of high-density living.
He said the land use plan would respond to the “cultural change” of housing developments and adapt its transport services to meet demand.
“We need to think about the places we live, where schools are, where employment nodes are.
“We’re looking at different ways people move around the city.
“The role for Katherine (Wrzesinki) is to involve members of the community in the steering committee and develop and start that strategy.”
Ms Wrzesinki will begin the role in charge of the integrated transport and land use strategy on