The Hodgman Government’s proposed grants program aims to help councils create or extend bicycle routes as a way to boost active transport in Southern Tasmania.
Bicycle Network Advisor Alison Hetherington welcomed the announcement, but warned that ongoing state government funding was the key getting more people out of cars and on to bikes.
“Tasmania has one of the lowest spends per head of the population on bicycle infrastructure nationally,” Bicycle Network Adviser Alison Hetherington said.
“The Liberals’ announcement of a $2 million grants program to extend bicycle routes in southern Tasmania is a good first step to getting more people riding bikes more often.
“However, to really embed active transport in Tasmania we need a constant funding source for bicycle infrastructure so local governments can plan ahead and join the dots in their bicycle lane networks."
As part of Bicycle Network's Vote Bike election campaign, Australia's biggest bike riding advocacy group is calling for at least $21.3 million to be spent on bicycle infrastructure over four years.
This works out to be at least $10 per person on bike infrastructure to bring Tasmania’s facilities up to a useful standard and future proof the city.
In 2015–16, Tasmania spent $3.64 per person on bicycle facilities against the national average of $5.29.
“Providing bicycle lanes and paths in urban centres that people use daily is one way of improving the health of Tasmanians,” Ms Hetherington added.
“We want to make it easy for Tasmanians to jump on a bike to ride to work, school, the local shops or visit friends and family.
“Helping people to choose active transport options like walking and riding makes it easier for people to get daily exercise they need to ward off preventable cancers, heart disease and diabetes.
For Bicycle Network’s top ten bicycle asks of a new government, visit http://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/votebike.
Following the campaign online at #VoteBikeTAS.