NSW Greens have called for the major political parties to match their support for a state-funded cycleway network in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
The proposed $164 million Cyclesafe network would connect 90 kilometres of existing cycleway and paths with 140 kilometres of new infrastructure. The project is set to be delivered in three stages, over eight years.
The connected, attractive and accessible active transport network aims to encourage locals to swap out short car trips for riding or walking.
In addition to connectivity and liveability benefits, the proposed Cyclesafe network will deliver health benefits to the population of the Hunter region by increasing physical activity as part of everyday life.
Bike riding is popular in the region, and supported by local governments who participate in Bicycle Network's annual Super Tuesday commuter bike count, but improvements do need to be made.
Just 14 per cent of bike riders in Lake Macquarie are female, below both the NSW and national averages of 20 and 24 per cent respectively.
The NSW Greens are calling for full state government funding of this project in recognition that it is state significant infrastructure.
NSW Greens spokesperson for active transport Cate Faehrmann said that the project would deliver world-class infrastructure to Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
“Under this proposal, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie will have a world-class active transport network that will make it safe and viable for locals to cycle or walk every day to work, school, university, shops and playgrounds.”
“Cycleways are great value public investments that deliver a whole host of community benefits. They reduce stress on our roads and parking places, they cut pollution and traffic congestion, they improve community health and make smart transport choices safer and more convenient for families."
“Access to quality cycleways also has a positive effect on property prices for homeowners, particularly for ambitious connectivity proposals like this one.”
“If just 5 per cent of employed people living within the network used cycling for travel to and from work, the total monetised benefit would be $50 million per year, paying back the cost of building the network in just over three years," Ms Faehrmann added.
Cycleways are Transport Infrastructure, and should be funded accordingly by the state government, not piecemeal by local governments. Can you imagine if politicians went around cutting ribbons... https://t.co/myGFuynjFB
— Cate Faehrmann (@greencate) February 21, 2019
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Bicycle Network works with all parties of the political spectrum across all levels of government to ensure that people who ride bikes aren't forgotten.
With the election under a month away, Bicycle Network will be tracking and publishing active transport and bike commitments made by all parties on our NSW election page. They'll be rated against our own election priorities.