The Tamar Bike Users Group in Northern Tasmania is getting more riders on the road through its social rides program.
In 2016 it conducted 87 rides for a total of 823 riders. And so far in 2017, with 81 riders already, it has attracted more than 1000 participants.
The TBUG numbers are equally good around membership. There are 101 members and 580 supporters and it continues to attract sponsorship of $1000 a year from the Launceston-based St Luke’s health fund.
At the annual general meeting last week, president Malcolm Reid – re-elected unopposed – praised City of Launceston staff for their work on improving infrastructure for riders.
However, he was also critical of senior staff and Mayor Albert van Zetten for their reaction to criticism of traffic problems in Kings Meadows.
As a result of the outcry – driven by a local radio program – bike lanes were removed in the Kings Meadow shopping strip and a moratorium imposed on other bike infrastructure.
TBUG has strongly protested at the action, saying traffic lane changes and light sequencing problems, not bike lanes, were the cause of the problem.
The changes were made as part of road safety improvements under Black Spot funding.
Malcolm also told the meeting that it the council was serious about making the Launceston CBD more pedestrian and bike friendly it needed to stop the noisy drag racing on Paterson St, which was a danger to all street users.