Nillumbik Major Activity Centres Transport Study


Activity Centre Planning

Nillumbik Major Activity Centres Transport Study

Client: Nillumbik Shire Council, Victoria
Date: 2010–2011

Project Description

Knowles Tivendale, in collaboration with Booz & Company, developed transport strategies to improve access to and enhance the attractiveness of the Major Activity Centres of Diamond Creek and Eltham in Melbourne’s northeast. The focus was to improve local economies and develop sustainable transport options for the two centres, one of which has the fewest public transport services of any Major Activity Centre in Melbourne.

The project involved significant stakeholder consultation, including with the retail traders’ associations and the local community. An evidence-based approach was used to establish priorities as part of developing options for the centre. The research found that over 50% of existing customers walked to each centre. The improvements most supported by stakeholders and the community focused on making the centres more attractive places to walk around and spend time in. The project also identified opportunities to develop car parking on consolidated sites at the edge of each centre, while better managing car spaces in the heart of each centre.


The project’s approach to stakeholder and community consultation and priority-setting enabled a range of options to be identified and evaluated. These options offered significant improvements to transport and access to the centres, while reducing the impact of car parking and congestion.

Scope of Works

Key Tasks

Knowles Tivendale’s tasks included:

  • Collecting and analysing baseline data
  • Conducting in-centre surveys
  • Conducting four stakeholder workshops
  • Engaging with local councillors
  • Developing and assessing options
  • Conducting ‘Main Street BBQs’ to canvass identified options with local communities and stakeholders
  • Researching, writing and presenting the report.

Key Challenges

The local mayor of Nillumbik Shire Council (also the president of the Chamber of Commerce) was elected on a policy to ‘build more car parking’. This meant that evidence for alternative strategies had to be robust and thoroughly researched and documented.

Engaging with the retailer communities required careful management so that expectations were clear. The retailers also required robust evidence to convince them that the various options would increase footfall and improve the value of the centre to their customers.

It was important to build local community awareness and buy-in, so the Main Street BBQs (held on two Saturdays) were used to present options for review and comment by the community.


"Phillip Boyle consistently provided a high level of expertise, advice and management of the scheduling process. His strong technical skills and thorough understanding of transport operations were major assets to the provision of the Olympic and Paralympic games transportation services."

Organising Committee for the Athens Olympic Games, Athens 2004

"Phillip Boyle & Associates has supported the development of the SmartBus program through the planning and implementation phases. In particular on Route 901 and 902 he developed the timetable and worked with the multiple bus operators to create scheduling solutions for implementation. This included not only creating the vehicle runs and crew shifts but also development of information for the systems that support SmartBus technologies. In each case implementation went very smoothly and high levels of scheduling efficiency were achieved. Phillip’s operational expertise and ability to successfully work with the bus operators involved was critical to the successful implementation of these services."

Chris Bright, Manager SmartBus, Department of Transport, Victoria

"Phillip Boyle & Associates provided outstanding expertise in assisting Sydney Ferries with development of its successful operating bid, driving the development of a range of “outside the box” options aimed at improving service quality and increasing efficiency levels. Phillip Boyle’s combination of technical operations capabilities and commercial experience provided Sydney Ferries with significant benefits during this process."

Denis Mole, Chief Operating Officer, Sydney Ferries, NSW

"A highly successful implementation has been achieved, complete with substantial network changes and a complete rewriting of all operating timetables. During the scheduling process Phillip Boyle & Associates worked closely with both TransLink and ourselves to achieve the best possible outcomes. As a result the operation has been made simpler and substantially more robust. Implementation was helped significantly by Phillip Boyle’s operational planning and scheduling expertise."

Paul Davies, General Manager, Westside Bus Service, Queensland

"Phillip Boyle & Associates provided outstanding planning, operations and implementation expertise. The project was difficult due to the complex nature of the service (local, intertown and line haul services operating under a timed-transfer system) and the number of stakeholders involved. Phillip Boyle’s hands-on approach ensured a difficult implementation went smoothly. He worked effectively with a variety of stakeholders ranging from large and small bus companies, Department of Transport staff, Metlink and local government representatives. Not only did Mr Boyle help to redesign the service, but he also drove the implementation, including development of a regional timetable in a new format."

John Storrie, General Manager – Strategic Planning & Policy, Department of Transport, Victoria

"Phillip Boyle provided scheduling support for Brisbane Transport over several projects spanning almost ten years. The range of projects he has assisted with cover the scheduling, planning and human resources disciplines. In that time he has demonstrated high levels of scheduling, planning and operations expertise. I look forward to working with Phillip Boyle & Associates in the future and would highly recommend them to an organisation looking for planning, operations or scheduling expertise."

Roman Gafa, Network Scheduling Manager, Brisbane Transport, Queensland

"Phillip Boyle & Associates developed our operating bid for the V/Line services. Not only did they assist with format, structure and content, but also developed our operating plan and pricing strategies. Our bid success was due in no small part to the professionalism of Phillip Boyle, his ability to prepare a high-quality operating bid, and his detailed understanding of operations. Upon winning the bid, Phillip Boyle & Associates provided implementation support and advice necessary to ensure a successful implementation of the services."

Frank Bono, Managing Director, Firefly Express, Victoria

"Having worked with Phillip Boyle over many years I can say without a doubt he provides industry-leading expertise in the planning, scheduling and operation of public transportation services. His recent work on the Advanced Transit Scheduling Manual reinforced this view."

Dan Boyle, President, Dan Boyle & Associates, USA