Calls for bike lanes to be axed in Melbourne’s CBD

There are calls for a major shake-up to the way people travel through Melbourne’s CBD with one leader pledging to return the city to its “former glory”.

A prominent industry figure has called for some Melbourne CBD bike lanes to be scrapped to help the city’s post-Covid revival.

Over the past year Melbourne City Council has accelerated the rollout of 40km of protected bike lanes across the city in areas like Exhibition, La Trobe and Spring Street.

But Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra told 3AW on Friday that some of these lanes should be removed to help Melbourne become the world’s most liveable city once again.

“We’re hearing all sorts of complaints back around the city and that’s not where we want our city to be,” Mr Guerra said.

“We love our city, we want it to return to its former glory.”

He said in comparison to some of the issues the city is currently dealing with, removing bike lanes around the CBD would be an “easy address”.

Mr Guerra made it clear that not all bike lanes “have to go” and they can be placed on “little streets” in the city, but said lanes like the one on Exhibition Street “need to be addressed”.

“If we’re back down to one lane pretty much every time we come to get into the city it causes traffic congestion and makes it almost impossible to get through,” he said.

“We need to rethink how we get into our city to make it possible for bikes and cars.”

Mr Guerra is concerned the bike lanes will cause heavy congestion for people driving to and through the city, saying there have already been reports of lengthy delays.

“When it (Melbourne) gets back to peak it’s going to be almost impossible to get into the city if we’ve only got a single lane access,” he said.

Bike lanes are just one of the issues the city is apparently facing, with Mr Guerra saying they are hearing “too much noise” from Melburnians about graffiti, construction, homelessness and cleanliness.

He also said they are “not seeing” people returning to the office as much as they would have liked by now.

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