Bicycle Network: Take Action
Victoria's Cycling Strategy 2013-2023
The State Government has launched a ten year cycling strategy for Victoria.
Victorian bike strategy launched
11 December 2012. The State Government has launched a ten year cycling strategy for Victoria, reviving its sliding fortunes among Victoria's politically influential cycling community.
The strategy will be co-ordinated across various government agencies to ensure better planning of the overall network.
The two major planning tools—the Principle Bicycle Network and the Metropolitan Trails Network—will be managed as one system.
Roads Minister Terry Mulder said: "We want to position Victoria to become Australia's most bicycle friendly state."
"With more and more people taking up cycling, the Coalition Government is investing in more cycling infrastructure, co-ordinating formerly inconsistent planning and working to make cycling safer and easier," he said.
The strategy was launched together with the announcement of the go-ahead for the construction of the Darebin Bridge, which will link up a series of key Melbourne bike trails. The $18M project has been funded by Planning Minister Matthew Guy.
Minister Mulder has committed another $30M to bike projects this financial year.
Although no specific reference has been made, it follows that the source of funding for many of the State's bike route initiatives, the VicRoads Bicycle Program, will likely be restored next year after being cut in the last budget. Or if not that exact program, a plug-in replacement should emerge.
There are two key documents: Cycling into the Future 2013-23; and Victorian Cycling Action Plan 2013 & 2014. The action plan sets out the organisational priorities for the next two years.
"In 2012 we updated Melbourne’s Principal Bicycle Network – the masterplan of all current and future bike routes – to bring together popular off-road trails with on-road lanes and paths," Mr Mulder said.
"From now on, we will plan all Melbourne’s bike paths together, by bringing together the Principal Bicycle Network and the Metropolitan Trail Network of recreational trails. This master plan allows us to link bike routes together across Melbourne and guide investment in cycling.
"We will establish an Interdepartmental Cycling Committee, chaired by the Department of Transport, to enhance co-ordination and ensure there are clear lines of accountability when there are multiple interests in cycling. This will make delivery of cycling projects and programs more effective, efficient and timely.
"We are building cycling into designs for our cities and towns, and we are making sure that the needs of bike riders are considered as we plan major new transport and infrastructure projects."
Mr Mulder said the strategy and action plans would be complemented by Victoria’s Cycle Tourism Action Plan 2011–2015, which seeks to position Victoria as the leading state for cycle tourism.
Four main benefits
The strategy lists four main benefits of bike riding:
- It can help to reduce physical inactivity and improve the health of Victorians.
- It can contribute to creating better places to live by making it easy for people to move around their local communities.
- Cycling can support economic growth and help generate jobs. It is a cost-effective form of transport that can help reduce delays on our roads and public transport networks.
- Cycling can also contribute to a healthier environment by helping to reduce air pollution, noise and greenhouse gas emissions.
Six strategic directions
Cycling into the Future 2013–23 identifies six directions that will build our understanding of cycling and the types of trips Victorians make by bike, help us to increase these trips in the future and encourage more people to consider cycling:
Build evidence–build a stronger evidence base for the Victorian Government to make more informed decisions
Enhance governance and streamline processes – clarify accountability and improve co-ordination, planning and delivery
Reduce safety risks – reduce conflicts and risks to make cycling safer
Encourage cycling – help Victorians feel more confident about cycling and make cycling more attractive
Grow the cycling economy – support opportunities to grow and diversify Victoria’s economy through cycling.
Plan networks and prioritise investment – plan urban cycling networks to improve connectivity and better target investment in urban networks, regional trails and specialist cycle sport infrastructure.