A 300-kilometre connected network of bike paths across Sydney should be a national priority according to Australia’s chief infrastructure advisor, Infrastructure Australia.
The recommendation comes out of Infrastructure Australia’s annual priority list which outlines $55 billion worth of nation-shaping investment, released today.
Alleviating and future proofing NSW against congestion was a clear focus of the list, with the state having more ‘high priority initiatives’ than all other states combined.
Western Sydney was the country’s highest priority area – with four of the nation’s top six projects.
Infrastructure Australia told the Sydney Morning Herald that increasing active transport and public transport capacity were vital to cope with population growth.
If this doesn't happen, the state risks losing $15 billion in congestion by 2031.
As a result, the NSW government is being urged to actively encourage more people ride bikes for transport by developing a 284-kilometre cycle path network including Chatswood, Bronte, San Souci and Campsie, within the next five years.
Greater connectivity and separation from traffic for people who ride could transform Sydney’s inner suburbs, and the short timeline for delivery makes it an exciting prospect.
The Infrastructure Australia report echoes Bicycle Network’s consistent calls for urgent investment in bike infrastructure to reduce the burden of congestion and physical inactivity costs.
The report found that by shifting just five per cent of Sydney’s one million daily short trips taken by car within 10 kilometres of the CBD to bike riding or walking could result in a reduction of 50,000 motor vehicles trips in the inner city.
Road and rapid rail projects across NSW, Melbourne and Brisbane dominated the overall list and made up all six of the list’s high priority projects.