The future of transport in NSW will only be bright if the state government follows through on its numerous transport plans with solid investment, an accelerated timeline and strong commitment for delivery.
In March, the NSW Government released its Future Transport Strategy 2056, an overarching strategy, supported by a suite of plans to achieve it’s 40-year vision for transport.
Last year, Bicycle Network provided feedback on the strategy, calling on the government to accelerate the delivery of the bike infrastructure, and to commit to positive provisioning and behaviour change.
Bicycle Network applauds the intent of the final report which aims to make cycling and walking attractive transport alternatives by encouraging short trips.
However, we're concerned that it won't come soon enough for a state that is choking on congestion and suffering from preventable diseases.
Sadly, for Sydney the only clear commitment for cycling within the next 10 years is developing ‘Priority Cycleway Links’.
Outside of Sydney, it’s necessary to look at the specific plan for each area, but overall the intention is to refocus transport and develop each town or regional centre as a ‘hub’ with transport infrastructure ‘spokes’ enabling people to move more easily to their nearest centre, and to walk and cycle for journeys within 5km of that centre.
However, the Future Transport Strategy 2056 is one of many which outline the future transport plans for the state.
There is also the Greater Sydney Infrastructure and Services Plan, Regional NSW Services Infrastructure Plan, the regional plan that relates to your area if you live outside greater Sydney and then the accompanying State Infrastructure Strategy 2018-2038 that sets out the government’s priorities.
Infrastructure NSW also recommends its own priorities for Transport for NSW:
- develop business cases on a city-by-city basis for an annual program of investment in a network of protected cycleways linking major strategic centres across the three (Sydney) cities, to be delivered in partnership with local government and be integrated with the Greater Sydney Commission Green Grid (recommendation 50)
- in partnership with local government, develop a 10-year rolling program that prioritises active transport at high volume and high-profile locations in the Sydney CBD and other strategic centres. (recommendation 51)
When looking at pages of government documents and strategies that all say the right things, it’s important to remember the words of Urbanist Brent Toderian “the truth about a city’s aspiration isn’t found in it’s vision, it’s found in it’s budget”.
Despite concerning set-backs with the Sydney Harbour Bridge ramp, Bicycle Network looks forward to the release of 2018/19 budget in the coming months for a true indication of the government’s commitment to making it easier to ride bikes in NSW.
This week, Bicycle Network came together with the Australian Cycling Promotion Fund (We Ride Australia) and Bicycle NSW to present a joint brief to the Upper House of parliament calling for investment in bike infrastructure. The brief also included Bicycle Network’s 2018/19 budget submission.
Thanks to the ongoing support of our members in NSW, we will continue to engage and work with members of parliament, leaders in transport planning and bike advocates to press for a better deal for bikes.