Bicycle Network has called on Transport for NSW to fast-track its Future Transport Strategy 2056 by 30 years and prioritise bikes to address the state’s worsening health and congestion crisis.
A submission to the strategy by Bicycle Network says the time to implement change is now, with congestion at an all-time worst and two-thirds of people physically inactive, both of which cost the economy millions of dollars a year.
Bicycle Network spokesperson Bastien Wallace said that while there are some positive steps in the plan, it is unacceptable to wait 40 years to get NSW moving.
“We’re losing millions of dollars a year through congestion and physical inactivity. We must fast-track the implementation of bike infrastructure and policy in the plan to get people out of cars and onto sustainable, efficient and healthy transport,” said Ms Wallace.
“It’s great to see that the plan recognises the importance of active transport in connecting people in our regional and metropolitan communities, but we can’t wait too long. Ask yourself, where will you be in 2056?”
Bicycle Network is Australia’s largest bike riding organisation representing 50,000 members.
Key asks of the submission include speeding up the development of infrastructure, support services and policy that encourages and makes bike riding safer, as well as implementing behaviour change programs.
“NSW people want to ride bikes more often, but don’t feel that they can. If we build better bike infrastructure and create a supportive, inclusive environment for riding we will turn around our transport woes,” added Ms Wallace.
Bicycle Network’s six key actions from its Future Transport Strategy submission:
- accelerate the completion of infrastructure and support services that encourage people to ride bikes
- increase spending on infrastructure and support for active transport, enabling more people to use bikes or walk for daily transport
- ensure that bike infrastructure is supported with bike-friendly policies and legislation
- delivery of state-wide behaviour change programs aimed at young people and commuters
- expand the current program of bike parking at commuter hubs
- increase bike spending and activities in regional and rural communities to reap cycling tourism benefits.