Mike Stevens | Sep 20, 2010

Scooter riders could soon join Melbourne's cyclists on a shared scooter and bicycle lane along the city's St Kilda Road if a new push by the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) is successful.

VACC is proposing a six-month trial that would allow scooterists to use St Kilda Road's existing bicycle lanes, thereby keeping the low-powered scooters out of faster-moving traffic and encouraging greater uptake of motorised two-wheel commuting.

“Scooters are recognised in the Victorian Government’s Strategic Action Plan for Powered Two Wheelers, but things are moving too slowly for us," VACC Executive Director David Purchase said.

"We know a study on road space management has recently been completed and its recommendations identify lane sharing options. This needs to be implemented immediately."

More than simply sharing lanes however, VACC is proposing a range of upgrades that would include boxed turns at busier intersections and filtering through stationery or slow-moving traffic.

Designated 'safe route' signs would be erected, and scooterists would be required to undertake a specific scooter training course and carry a minimum six-month registration.

“St Kilda Road is a suitable location for a ‘safe route’ because it is wide, straight and already includes a cycling lane. A six month trial period will enable us to record vital data, with a view to investigating further scooter ‘safe routes’ in and around Melbourne and other Victorian cities,” Mr Purchase said.

The Victorian Government last year launched a safety campaign for motorcycle and scooter riders, to be implemented over the next four years. The plan will seek to significantly reduce the number of fatalities and injuries sustained by motorcycle and scooter riders on Victoria's roads.

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