Children up until the age of 16 in NSW can now legally ride a bike on the footpath thanks to a recent change in the law.
The previous law meant that children over the age of 12 were forced to ride on the road, mixing with trucks and traffic.
Under the new law, adults can also accompany children riding on the footpath up until the age of 16.
Momentum has been building in NSW to increase the age of footpath riding with Bruce Notley-Smith MP taking up the campaign in April this year, after local constituent Callum Gordon kicked off a petition that quickly gained 14.5K signatures.
Mr Notley-Smith’s campaign video which called for all school-age children to be allowed to ride on the footpath was viewed more than 30K times.
“The support was overwhelming,” Mr Notley-Smith told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I knew that we would get the support, I just had to demonstrate it to the minister.”
Independent member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich also recently raised the question of footpath riding in state parliament.
Bicycle Network, who has campaigned for more than three years to see the footpath riding age increased to everyone in both NSW and VIC, welcomed the change.
“Changing the law to allow children up until the age of 16 to ride on the footpath is a step in the right direction, however it doesn’t go far enough,” said Bicycle Network spokesperson Anthea Hargreaves.
“Until we get greater separation and bike lanes on all roads, we need to make Australia a place where everyone feels comfortable and confident to ride a bike.”
“A quick and easy way to get more people out of cars and on to bikes would be for NSW (and VIC) to follow the lead of every other state in Australia and open footpaths to bike riders of all ages.”
Bicycle Network would like to acknowledge the work of Callum Gordon, Bruce Notley-Smith MP, Alex Greenwich and our members who wrote to the Roads Minister or their local MP in support of changing the age of footpath riding.
We also hope that the changes in NSW will open up the conversation of footpath riding with decision makers in Victoria.
SEE Bicycle Network's Campaign
You may also be interested in:
- Footpath riding pressure mounts – July 2018
- NSW MP joins footpath riding campaign – May 2018
- Footpath access boosts bike riding – January 2018
- Footpath riding campaign gathers pace, December 2017