Cadel Evans gives thumbs up to new roundabout
TOUR de France winner and local hero Cadel Evans has given the tick of approval to Torquay’s new cycling-friendly roundabout.
Evans inspected the roundabout – at the intersection of the Surf Coast Highway, South Beach and Messmate roads – with Transport Accident Commission (TAC) lead director of road safety Samantha Cockfield and South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman just ahead of the start of the Towards Zero Race Torquay on Thursday last week.
The roundabout is one of the first in Victoria to include protected bike lanes.
Evans said he was personally happy to see a roundabout installed at the intersection, as he had found the original layout hazardous to negotiate while on training rides.
Cyclists are also benefiting from works along the Esplanade, which include new pedestrian crossings and a speed limit reduction from 50kmh to 40kmh.
Both projects were jointly funded by the state government and the Surf Coast Shire.
Evans said he supported infrastructure that was good for people both on bikes and in cars, as some infrastructure solutions suited one group of road users but not others.
Last year, 11 cyclists lost their lives on Victorian roads.
In the first six months of 2019, 287 cyclists were hospitalised after incidents on Victorian roads. Of these, 15 remained in hospital for longer than 14 days.
Cyclists are 34 times more likely to be seriously injured than vehicle occupants and 4.5 times more likely to be killed in a crash, according to TAC figures.
Evans, Ms Cockfield and Mr Cheeseman urged motorists and cyclists to look out for each other.
“With the warmer weather comes more bikes, cars and motorbikes on the roads, so we ask everyone to be aware of this and think about the decisions they can make to keep each other safe,” Mr Cheeseman said.
“We all have a responsibility when it comes to road safety which is why we’re urging everyone to be patient, look out for each other and drive and ride responsibly.”