If NSW is to rise above the challenges it faces with congestion, health, population growth, our communities must move away from a dependence on cars.
The increasing cost of living, health and congestion is having very real and profound impacts on the people of NSW.
Population growth, urbanisation and new technologies are rapidly changing the accessibility and connectivity of our communities. Combined with the growing burden of disease caused by physical inactivity and our future is looking bleak.
We need to get more people in NSW moving and it’s clear that the most efficient and cost-effective way is by bike.
Making it easier for more people of all ages, genders and backgrounds to ride a bike for transport will build physical activity into our daily lives, unclog public transport and free up our roads.
However, NSW continues to have the lowest bike riding numbers in Australia. At the same time, less than one per cent of the NSW transport budget is allocated to active transport.
With an election looming, the Berejiklian Government has an opportunity to change the direction and prioritisation of transport investment for the state.
The people of NSW are looking for a government that is willing to make the decisions that deliver the biggest economic and social gains and the answer isn’t in organised sport or low-co-ordination, vaguely-justified roads and rail.
By planning, investing and creating space for active transport, the NSW government can create smart, connected, accessible and productive communities, filled with happy and healthy people.
This is why we’re calling on the NSW Government to deliver a responsible, forward-focused budget which promotes active travel and boosts the standard of living for years to come.
Consecutive governments have failed to implement a range of commitments to increase bike riding or deliver infrastructure improvements.
We want to see a NSW state budget that supports the development of key cycling projects and behaviour change programs across NSW that will help the state remain the beating heart of Australia, driving our nation forward.
It’s time to be brave
Bicycle Network is calling for the delivery of four critical key priorities in the 2019-20 NSW State Budget.
We strongly believe that these asks are not only cost-effective but will deliver wide ranging benefits to society over and above those of the individual. These asks are also consistent with Bicycle Network’s previous NSW state budget submissions.
By investing in cycling as transport, recreation and tourism, the Berejiklian Government has the ability to set a new, brave and long overdue agenda for the coming election.
1. Establish a $237 million+ annual bike fund
Invest in an annual bike infrastructure fund of roughly $30 per head of NSW population to support the rapid roll out of a connected network of cycleways within metro and major regional centres.
2. Invest in a state-wide Ride2School program
Bicycle Network’s Ride2School program is the only national program of its kind with 10 year history of proven success and long-term behaviour change.
3. Expand opportunities for recreational cycling and cycle tourism
Funding a rail trail program provides an opportunity to boost regional tourism and recreational cycling across NSW.
4. Invest in an enforcement program for MPDL
Take learnings from the award-winning Operation Close Pass program which has now been adopted by police forces across the UK and invest in an enforcement program for minimum passing distance laws.
These recommendations also support the acceleration of current funding commitments, transport plans and funding schedules.
We must start fast-tracking and prioritising the movement of people over vehicles if our transport system is to truly support the economic prosperity and growth of NSW.
We know collective action makes a difference.
Together we can make NSW one of the best places to ride a bike in Australia.
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