Case study: Paving the way to smoother outcomes

Case study: Paving the way to smoother outcomes

Good Cycles and DM Roads came together to improve the amenity and safety of Shared User Pathways (SUPs) in Melbourne’s North-West. Since November 2019, nearly 500kms of utility vehicle inspections have been replaced with an e-cargo bike, rather than a car.

Cyclists and pedestrians in Melbourne’s North West are enjoying safe, smooth journeys thanks to DM Roads and Good Cycles. The DM Roads’ Western Region Maintenance Contract (MRAMS) maintains 66 kilometres of SUPs in Melbourne’s North West along the Hume, Western and Metropolitan Freeways.

These SUPs were once maintained by a large utility vehicle with flashing lights that would travel the paths to undertake inspections. However, after receiving feedback from pedestrians about safety concerns, DM Roads started to explore other options. By partnering with Good Cycles, these inspections could be conducted by e-bike, which is safer for users of the SUPs, reduces carbon emissions, and avoids vegetation throughout the network.

Inspections have since evolved to incorporate a ‘find and fix’ approach. An e-cargo bike can transport equipment to fill small cracks and gaps in the paths, fix street signs and remove graffiti while inspecting the paths. This approach makes path inspections more efficient, productive and sustainable.

The outcome

  • Safer SUPs across the North West of Melbourne due to the removal of vehicles on paths
  • Hazards decreased along SUPs using the ‘find and fix’ method
  • Approximately 585 defects repaired and reported
  • Inspected approximately 470kms of SUPs since November 2019

The impact

The social impact:

  • Meaningful employment for a young person at-risk of disengagement
  • Removed 5 entry-level barriers to employment for young people:
    • A drivers licence was not required
    • A certification for work was not required
    • Educational qualifications were not required
    • A lack of relevant industry experience was overcome by partnering the young person with a DM Roads employee for training
    • Resume support was provided
  • Transferable skills in hazard and defect identification for a young person
  • Replaced an estimated 500kms of vehicle movements across the City of Melbourne with trips on e-bikes