The NSW Government will invest almost $710 million in infrastructure for people who ride and walk over the next four years as a way to reduce congestion and create jobs.
Announced as part of the 2020-21 NSW State Budget, the funding will bring the government’s total investment in walking and cycling to nearly $1.1 billion. According to the latest government press release, that's the largest in the state’s history.
However, any detail or specifics are scant after digging through countless budget papers and funding guidelines.
The budget allocations could be hidden within existing major infrastructure projects or programs, such as the Fixing Local Roads Program, which makes the total allocation ambiguous and hard to corroborate.
We do know that the NSW Government has publicly committed to focusing on delivering projects that align with the Future Transport Strategy 2056, which defines the 40-year vision for transport planning.
The plan prioritises the delivery of connected cycling networks within 10 kilometres of metropolitan city centres by 2026, and within five kilometres of strategic centres by 2036.
It's clear that NSW is putting an emphasis on and investing in making it easier and safer for people to ride.
It's important to recognise that NSW lead the way as the first state in Australia to install rapid-roll out bike lanes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with plans to add even more.
Currently, Transport for NSW is also jointly funding a pop-up bike lane program alongside local councils in Sydney’s CBD, Wollongong, Newcastle, Goulburn, Randwick and Parramatta, along with 91 projects approved under the 2020/21 Walking and Cycling program.
We’ve contacted Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance for more information. We will update this page when we find more.
Here's what we did find in the budget:
- $23 million was set aside for ‘various’ active transport projects across NSW (p. 118 in the Infrastructure Statement and under ‘active transport’ on this budget map)
- $4.6 million is set aside for the NSW Cycling Infrastructure Initiative which includes commitments funded from the Regional Community Recovery Fund, which is part of the $1.0 billion Bushfire Infrastructure Package (p. 63 in the Infrastructure Statement
- $175.6 million over five years to improve access to national parks and support local tourism by upgrading and extending walking trails, amongst other things (p. 49 in the Infrastructure Statement).
- $312.0 million for the Fixing Local Roads program, which is helping regional councils repair, maintain and seal the roads that matter to local communities, including an Australian Government funding contribution of $191.0 million
- $647.9 million to continue NSW and Australian Government investment to improve road safety including a significant increase in investment through the Road Safety Plan 2021 targeting high risk areas with a regional focus.
- $115.0 million ($414.0 million over two years) to accelerate a range of regional Transport programs and projects, including Fixing Country Bridges, regional bus services and regional road projects, aimed at supporting jobs and stimulating the economy in regional New South Wales
Bicycle Network's budget submission asked for a commitment to spend $964.3 million on riding and walking infrastructure over the next four years. This figure is based on a spend of $30 per head each year, which is recognised as the gold standard in riding and walking investment.
We look forward to supporting the efforts of the NSW Government a they develop and install new bike routes across the state.
Do you know more or did we miss something? Contact us and let us know.