Bicycle Network: VoteBike
xWA election 6 September 2008
Let's get a strong commitment to increase bike riding from both the major parties.
New vision coming for bikes in West
11 March 2009. As the bike world focuses on West Australia in the lead up to the Great Escapade event, the WA government is working on a new strategic bicycle network plan aimed at reducing car dependency.
The Hon. Simon O'Brien, Minister for Transport in Western Australia recently wrote to Bicycle Network Victoria, setting the goal of increasing cycling in the state.
"I will shortly be conducting discussions with the Western Australian Department for Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) to ascertain how we can continue to work towards the goal of increasing cycling activity and reducing motor vehicle dependency," he wrote.
"You should be aware that the DPI has commissioned a review of the Perth Bicycle Network (PBN) Plan, which will create a new strategic bicycle network plan that will cover all aspects of cycling policy, planning and implementation in the Perth metropolitan area and statewide.
"While it is still too early in our term of Government for detailed policies on the provision of cycling facilities to be formulated, I can tell you that the Liberal party has a history of strong support for the development of cycling and cycling facilities in Western Australia."
The review is nearing completion, according to Ministry staff. A preliminary report has been presented to the PBN Plan Review Steering Committee, which will then make recommendations to the Minister.
Bicycle Network Victoria will continue to push for and support, more specific plans for improving bicycle infrastructure in Western Australia, as promised by Minister O'Brien.
Thank you to everyone who wrote during the election period last spring. The strong and positive support for improvements to bicycle infrastructure generated by your letters and e-mails has helped to highlight the issue to the new Government.
Update on the announcement of the Liberal Government
15 September 2008
It is encouraging to see that the new Premier of WA Colin Barnett and the incoming Liberal Government have made some positive statements about promoting bike riding in Western Australia as a viable transportation and recreation option. So far these fall short of the sort of definite commitment we would have liked.
They say they recognise that investing in bicycle infrastructure and programs will have a direct impact on encouraging riding. This is a good thing but we would like to see some dollars next to that recognition.
Policy statements made before the election by the Liberals show that there will be some investments in bicycle infrastructure and programs such as building new paths, improving existing routes, and providing more parking facilities at rail stations. These commitments were made around specific projects rather than as a systematic effort to increase bicycle usage.
We will now be talking to our contacts in the Party and to the relevant Ministers when they are appointed to get further detail on the incoming government's bike riding initiatives. We will let you know what we find out.
Nationals to support Liberal Party and form minority government
With the National Party announcing its intention to support the Liberal Party in forming a minority government over the weekend, we now have a result in what has been a very close election.
In the lead-up to the election, we asked both parties to communicate their policies for bike riding in WA. The Liberal Party outlined the following parameters of a policy in an e-mail to one of our Western Australian members:
“The Liberal Party has long recognised the environmental, social, traffic and health benefits of cycling and is committed to promoting cycling as a viable and attractive option for transportation and recreation in Western Australia.
We recognise that increasing Western Australia’s cycling infrastructure will further encourage cycling and provide a safe environment for both cyclists and other road users. A Liberal Government will consult with local governments and cycling groups in Western Australia and conduct an audit of the entire cycling network to identify shortfalls and remedies including:
• Identifying areas that require new cycle ways;
• Improving the quality of existing cycle paths;
• Providing additional public bicycle storage facilities; and,
• Identifying black spots and other safety concerns.
There has been an escalation of incidents in Western Australia involving cyclists and other road users in recent years. This has exposed a glaring deficiency in the representation of cyclists in Western Australia’s recent road safety awareness campaigns.
A Liberal Government will therefore support regular community awareness and education clinics designed to promote the benefits of cycling, as well as to promote road safety and tolerant road usage between all users.”
Update on the Liberal Policy as it relates to bikes
9 September 2008 The Liberal Party Transport Policy says
'Improve safety for cyclists and investigate extending the network of cycle paths;'
Some transport projects the Party committed to have bicycle elements these include:
- A Liberal Government will provide $20 million over the next four years to begin construction of the new Roe Stage 8 project.
- A Liberal Government will provide $5 million over four years to upgrade Ranford Road.
- A Liberal Government will provide $53 million over the next four years toward the construction of a new rail line to Ellenbrook, to meet needs in the fast growing North Eastern Growth Corridor.
The Liberal Plan for Environmental Sustainability and Water Management included this statement:
Reduce transport emissions by increasing the accessibility and attractiveness of public transport options through a $49m expansion of Park & Ride and new bike facilities at transport hubs and through better bus feeder services to train stations.
Thursday night’s update prior to Election Day
04 September 2008
Dear members and friends,
As you can see below, over the past two weeks we have asked riders in WA to write to Premier Carpenter and Mr. Barnett to ask them about their plans for bike riding for the next term of government.
Many of you responded with insightful and helpful letters to both leaders, which have not gone unnoticed. Well done.
As you can see, we also wrote to each of the leaders asking them to articulate their bicycle policies. We have been following up with them consistently over the past days in the lead-up to Election Day. We have been in contact with people from both parties who were advocating internally for a statement of support for bike riding prior to the Election.
Unfortunately, at this time, neither party has communicated a bicycle policy for voters to consider in the lead-up to Saturday’s poll.
We encourage you all to monitor the media over the coming 48 hours in case either side releases their plan to support bike riding in the coming years. Here are links to both parties’ policy announcement pages.
The short election campaign has made it hard to build and sustain pressure on both parties to release a policy. However, our collective inability to trigger an announcement from either party shows that there is work to be done to lift bike riding issues higher on the political agenda.
We will contact whomever it is that forms the next Government of Western Australia and ask them to outline their bike riding programs and policies for the next term.
We will be in touch again when there is further concrete progress to report.
We are looking forward to inviting the relevant Ministers to visit and participate in the Great Escapade in March, 2009, as a way to get to know them, and allow them to see the level of interest in bike riding in WA.
WA riders quiz pollies
26 August 2008. Bicycle Network Victoria's national network has swung into action with the WA election next weekend.
Bicycle Network Victoria does not take sides in politics, but it does take the side of policies that are good for bike riders.
We have thousands of members and friends in the West and with our help they have mobilized to encourage both the main political contestants to sharpen up their bike policies.
After encouraging progress in previous times (see side bar story), bikes have recently slipped down in the priorities of government in the west.
With both the WA government and opposition in full vote winning mode, our members made sure the voice of riders was fully heard, after we sent them the message below.
As part of the campaign Bicycle Network Victoria, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Cycling WA co signed a letter to the two party leaders. (See right)
If you haven't written your letter yet, there is still time and it is still worthwhile.
If you know someone in WA please send them a link to this page and encourage them to write.
We will be following up with the leaders and will get back to you with their responses.
20 August 2008
Dear Bike rider
As you know there is a WA State election on Saturday 6 September.
So far in the election neither of the major parties has made a statement about their support for bike riding.
Can you please write a short positive note to the leaders of the major parties and ask them to tell the electorate what they are going to do to get more people riding bikes for transport and recreation.
Your email will alert them that voters are concerned about this issue.
We have added some details on the right that may help you compose your letter. We must emphasise that the letter will be more effective if it is in your own words and expresses your views.
If you write this week the issue may get on their radar before the debate on Monday night.
The Hon Alan John Carpenter MLA
The Leader of the Opposition
Hon Colin Barnett MLA
The election policies of the two major parties are here: