Transport Strategy

Our Integrated Transport Strategy (ITS) outlines a number of priority actions to improve local transport infrastructure and meet the transport needs of our community.

The strategy aims to help our community to access jobs, services and facilities in more sustainable ways, and address the following transport challenges:

  • delay between new housing development and transport infrastructure delivery
  • inadequate roads
  • lack of public transport
  • heavy reliance on motor vehicles

Council adopted the Strategy at its meeting on 18 March 2014. An Implementation Plan is being prepared to deliver the actions and progress on the ITS will be reported annually to Council and the community.

On this page:


Roles and responsibilities

To achieve our future transport goals, we need support from the State and Federal Governments, and other stakeholders.

Even when other stakeholders are responsible for the delivery of actions, we often play an active role to ensure that the right outcomes are achieved.

Others, such as private developers, the not-for-profit sector and individuals, will all have a role to play in ensuring that the strategy is achieved.

Council’s role

  • We directly provide infrastructure including the construction of local roads, footpaths and cycle-ways. We are constrained by our budget limitations – our entire 2013/14 operating budget is $184 million, $14 million of which will be spent on roads, drains and footpaths.
  • We regulate the land use system by approving planning permits on land development and parking.
  • We advocate on behalf of the community for extra funding to meet our future transport needs, including our advocacy to the State Government for the extension of rail to Mernda and Wollert, extension of local bus services and widening or improvements to arterial roads.
  • We facilitate the provision of the required actions by others. For example, we hold regular meetings with Public Transport Victoria and VicRoads to improve integration of actions, support for improved integration of community transport services.

Victorian Government’s role

  • State agencies provide public transport infrastructure and services, such as buses, trains and trams, and they provide major road infrastructure and manage major roads. For example, the extension of the rail line from Epping to South Morang Rail cost $562 million. The recent widening of Plenty Road from Gordons Road to Riverdale Drive cost $21.8 million.
  • State Government can advocate with Council for federal funding to build major infrastructure, such as the O’Herns Road interchange with the Hume Freeway.
  • State plans, such as the forthcoming metropolitan strategy, planning legislation and policies, can facilitate desirable land use and transport integration outcomes.

Developers’ role

  • Developers provide roads, footpaths, shared paths and open space links as agreed with Council through developer contribution plans. For example, in Epping North, Mernda and Doreen. In the new growth areas Council will seek developer contributions from the Growth Area Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) for infrastructure and services such as public transport.
  • Developer to advocate with Council, such as public transport corridor to Epping North.

Aim of strategy

This strategy will align our transport strategies, plans and investment priorities with those of the State Government.

It identifies a range of actions that Council, the State Government and other stakeholders need to take over the next 5 years to improve transport in the City of Whittlesea.

Without implementing this strategy:

  • residents will face reduced access, increased congestion, increased risk of health problems
  • the local area will be less attractive to business investors due to increased business costs
  • high energy use will lead to increasing greenhouse gas emissions and lower air quality
  • increased transport isolation for residents who are unable to access a car

Reasons for travel by City of Whittlesea residents
Trip purpose (weekday) Percentage 
Work related  28%
Buy something   18%
Education   11%
Social   11%
Accompany someone   11%
Pick up / drop off someone 9%
Personal business 9%
Recreational 3%

Fast facts

  • The population of the City of Whittlesea is expected to increase by 121,000 over the next 20 years.
  • About 80 per cent of population growth will be in the suburbs of Epping, Mernda, Doreen, South Morang, Donnybrook and Woodstock.
  • Much of the essential road transport infrastructure needs to be delivered by the State Government with over $764m of infrastructure required.
  • The cost of the South Morang Rail Extension Project ($562 million) is more than 3 times the City of Whittlesea’s 2013/14 operating budget.
  • City of Whittlesea residents are heavily reliant on motor vehicles, which account for more than 85 per cent of trips.
  • On an average weekday 60,000 people commute to outside the municipality for work.
  • About 65 per cent of trips begin and end in the City of Whittlesea, while a further 20 per cent are to the municipalities of Darebin, Banyule and Nillumbik.
  • The City of Whittlesea is the 5th most socially disadvantaged Local Government Area in Metropolitan Melbourne.

Monitoring and reporting on progress

We will continually monitor and record progress on the strategy actions including:

  • quarterly reports to Council against targets such as cost, timeliness, quantity and quality
  • annual report to Council and the community on actions

We will assess the impact of the strategy actions by monitoring the benefits of positive change over time and report on the following Key Performance Indicators:

  • an increase in the proportion of households in proximity to activity centres and diverse transport options
  • an increase in the proportion of the community engaged in walking
  • an increase in the proportion of the community engaged in cycling
  • an increase in the proportion of the community using public transport
  • a decrease in the proportion of short trips (up to 4km) made by motor vehicle
  • an increase in the proportion of transport disadvantaged residents having access to community transport services

Policy areas

The Draft Strategy identifies 6 policy areas, as well as a series of actions to achieve the objectives set for each.

Effective implementation of the strategy will depend on the delivery of integrated actions across each policy area.

View a summary of each of the 6 policy areas:

For a comprehensive description of each policy area, download the complete Draft Transport Strategy.

Policy area: Land use and transport integration


Urban development patterns will be supported by effective transport networks that include the provision of walking and cycling networks and the operation of public transport services to improve transport options and accessibility outcomes for all.

  • Meeting the needs of a rapidly growing population and its needs for housing, services and employment.
  • Matching transport supply to the staging of new developments so that residents in new areas have early access to public transport, roads, walking and cycling options.
  • Providing public transport to activity centres so that viable alternatives to car use are available.
  • Increasing local employment to reduce the need for people to leave the municipality for work.
  • Locating and accessing industrial areas with good road access and where impacts on other land uses are minimised.
  • Design of new areas that support more sustainable travel options, such as walking, cycling and public transport.
  • Protecting transport options that will be required to meet future needs, so that these projects are not built out before they are required.
Action areas
  • Action Area LUT 1 - Land use and transport will be planned together.
  • Action Area LUT 2 - Land use and transport will be delivered together.
  • Action Area LUT 3 - Demand for unnecessary travel by car based trips will be reduced.
Summary of actions
  • Council will provide a land use planning and transport planning framework that is complementary to land use objectives.
  • Council will advocate to the State Government for the delivery of transport infrastructure and services that align with the timing of new residential, commercial and public land development.

Policy area: Walking


Council will provide a safe urban environment where walking is encouraged through appropriate infrastructure and a built environment that encourages walking.

  • Continuity of walking routes so that people are able to walk to destinations without barriers or diversions.
  • Increase safety levels by providing adequate footpaths, lighting and sight lines. Provision of pedestrian crossings on high volume roads.
  • Provision of activities within walking distance of homes so that walking becomes a viable transport option for an increasing range of activities.
Action areas
  • Action Area W 1 - Planning for walking will be integrated into all Council activities.
  • Action Area W 2 - Walking for local access will be encouraged to improve community health and wellbeing.
  • Action Area W 3 - Walking needs will be incorporated into all capital works projects, redevelopment of existing areas and in the planning of new growth areas.
Summary of actions
  • Council will provide walking infrastructure through its capital works program and in its land use plans to facilitate improved walking connectivity in the growth areas or areas undergoing change.
  • Council will advocate the benefits of walking by working with schools to promote walking and facilitating the establishment of walking advocacy group(s).

Policy area: Cycling


Council will enable the community to adopt cycling as a viable alternative to the car for a wide variety of trips within the municipality and our neighbouring municipalities, through provision of infrastructure, encouragement programs and supporting infrastructure.

  • Continuity of cycling routes so that people are able to cycle to destinations without barriers or diversions.
  • Increase the actual and perceived safety levels when people are cycling.
  • Reducing the distances to activities so that cycling becomes a viable transport option for an increasing range of activities.
  • Upgrade signage for cyclists to improve ease of navigation through the municipality.
Action areas
  • Action Area C 1 - Planning for cycling will be integrated into Council’s activities.
  • Action Area C 2 - Bicycle needs will be incorporated into all transport network development and land use planning.
  • Action Area C 3 - Cycling for local and regional access will be encouraged to improve community health and wellbeing.
Summary of actions
  • Council will provide cycling infrastructure through its capital works program and in its land use plans to facilitate improved cycling connectivity in the growth areas or areas undergoing change.
  • Council will advocate to the State Government for investment in the Principal Bicycle Network and Metropolitan Trails Network.
  • Council will advocate the benefits of cycling by working with schools and the Whittlesea Bicycle Users Group to promote cycling.

Policy area: Roads and freight


Council will plan for a safe and efficient road network that meets the demands of a growing population and the travel needs of all road users, and ensures that freight minimises its impact on sensitive land uses.

  • Growing and spreading road congestion as the population and road demands increase.
  • Providing on-road measures for priority modes, such as buses and cycling.
  • Land releases occurring simultaneously across large areas of the municipality, that are spreading traffic demand and road needs over wide areas.
  • Subdivision designs that do not support local bus routes, cycling and walking connectivity.
  • Improving road safety as traffic increases and low quality roads carry higher volumes of traffic.
  • Providing freight networks linking industrial areas and major roads, and providing priority treatments for freight vehicles.
Action areas
  • Action Area RF 1 - Essential road links will be progressed by Council, State Government and developers.
  • Action Area RF 2 - The road network will be managed consistently with the ITS to ensure benefits for all road users.
  • Action Area RF 3 - Plan for future road network improvements.
  • Action Area RF 4 - Manage road freight.
Summary of actions
  • Council will provide the data and evidence base necessary to progress key road links and advocate to State and Federal Governments for funding opportunities.
  • Council will meet regularly with VicRoads to facilitate discussion on key infrastructure projects and initiatives.
  • Council will provide a local road network that improves amenity and safety for road users and aligns with land use priorities.
  • Council will provide for a freight network that is planned and managed to minimise impacts on sensitive land uses.

Policy area: Public transport


Council will work with the State Government to provide our community with a frequent, fast, understandable and reliable public transport network that meets the diverse needs of users throughout the municipality.

  • Increasing public transport service levels, such as frequencies and the hours of operation, to the standards enjoyed by other areas in Melbourne.
  • Improving walking access to public transport services.
  • Updating existing public transport networks to match changing demand patterns.
  • Increasing road congestion that reduces the speed and reliability of buses.
  • Rail congestion in the inner areas of Melbourne will limit the ability to expand capacity on the South Morang line.
  • Achieving integration between road and public transport actions so that public transport receives adequate priority.
  • Matching public transport infrastructure, service coverage and service upgrades with population growth.
Action areas
  • Action Area PT 1 - Advocate and assist in the improvement of public transport services to Public Transport Victoria (PTV).
  • Action Area PT 2 - Delivery of public transport services will be integrated with land development.
  • Action Area PT 3 - Prepare for future public transport expansion.
Summary of actions
  • Council will meet regularly with PTV to facilitate discussion on the need to improve public transport services and local accessibility.
  • Council will advocate to State Government for quality service improvements and the feasibility of providing interim public transport services for new areas.
  • Council will advocate to PTV on the need to progress key public transport projects including the extension of the rail line to Mernda and public transport corridor to Wollert and extension of Route 86 tram to South Morang. 

Policy area: Community transport


Council will facilitate and support the development and delivery of a sustainable community transport system which provides affordable and accessible transport solutions responsive to people’s individual physical, social, health, financial and support circumstances.

  • Achieving sustainable funding for the community transport sector as demand for services grows.
  • Improving service coordination so that community transport resources are used efficiently and the maximum number of eligible people are serviced.
  • Providing cost effective service delivery whilst maintaining personalised services.
  • Service planning to integrate activities and meet user needs.
  • Council and community leadership to develop the community transport system.
Action areas
  • Action Area CT 1 - Build a sustainable community transport sector in the municipality.
Summary of actions
  • Council will advocate for a sustainable community transport sector in the municipality.
  • Council will seek support from partner stakeholders to facilitate the delivery of community transport services that meet community needs.
Last Updated: 23 April 2014


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