Bicycle Network has welcomed the Tasmanian Labor announcement of a $4 million statewide tracks and trails fund as a good first step to getting more people active but warned it will not be enough to effect real change.
The fund was announced in today’s Examiner newspaper and would match local government or community spending up to a limit of $100 000.
Bicycle Network Advisor Alison Hetherington welcomed the announcement but warned that ongoing state government funding was the key to getting more people out of cars and on to bikes.
“Building better tracks and trails is a great way of getting people out riding and walking.
“However, a one-off $4 million grant program with grants of only $100 000 will not be enough to really embed active transport in Tasmania.
“If we are serious about giving people the transport options to increase their daily exercise then we need a constant funding source for bicycle infrastructure to connect networks and improve infrastructure.
As part of Bicycle Network's Vote Bike election campaign, Australia's biggest bike riding advocacy group is calling for at least $21.3 million to be spent on bicycle infrastructure over four years.
This works out to be at least $10 per person on bike infrastructure to bring Tasmania’s facilities up to a useful standard and future proof the city.
In 2015–16, Tasmania spent $3.64 per person on bicycle facilities against the national average of $5.29.
“We want to make it easy for Tasmanians to jump on a bike to ride to work, school, the local shops or visit friends and family.
“Some 60% of Australians don’t get the 30 minutes of daily moderate exercise they need to be healthy.
“Helping people to choose active transport options like walking and riding makes it easier for people to get the daily exercise they need to ward off preventable cancers, heart disease and diabetes.
For Bicycle Network’s top ten bicycle asks of a new government, visit http://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/votebike.
Following the campaign online at #VoteBikeTAS.