What the election result means for bikes

The federal election has been run and won, with the coalition getting up for a third consecutive term and Scott Morrison staying on as Prime Minister .

During the election campaign a lot of bike and transport promises were made by the government. We've put together a summary of all the bike related commitments, plus a few more things that may happen.

What they've said they'll do

One of the first election commitments was the establishment of an Office of Road Safety which would act as a central, national body to address road safety issues.

As part of this, $12 million will go to a Road Safety Innovation Fund that will help research and develop technology to reduce and stop driver error.

With impaired and distracted driving becoming more of an issue for vulnerable road users, this could be a good outcome for bike riders.

Both the Labor and Nationals candidates in Page (NSW) made funding commitments for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

$7.5 million to help build a 13-kilometre stretch of the of trail along the disused railway line from Casino to Bentley was offered by The Nationals' Kevin Hogan who retained the seat.

Josh Frydenberg had a battle on his hands in the seat of Kooyong and people who ride are the beneficiaries of his increased campaigning.

At least $6 million has been promised for improvements to Yarra Boulevard including lighting and CCTV, methods to reduce motor vehicle speeds and upgrades to the Walmer Street Bridge.

Walmer Street Bridge Bicycle Network
The Walmer Street Bridge over the Yarra River will be improved with coalition funding.

What might also happen

The government promised a $100 billion investment in transport infrastructure. While some of the above projects may come from this fund, there a number of other projects that may (and should) plan for bikes. These include:

  • A commuter car park fund will build more parking spaces at metropolitan railway stations. Most of this will be for cars, but could include bike parking.
  • Safer local roads and bridges through the Roads to Recovery, Black Spot, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity, and Bridges Renewal programs.
  • Major road upgrades to bust congestion, improve safety and help businesses move more efficiently. Many major roads projects often include provisions for bikes.

Even though Labor was unsuccessful in the election, commitments made as part of their $260 million National Bike Paths Strategy may not necessarily be dead and buried.

A new bike path Greensborough to Montmorency still has hope as it is part of an upgrade to the Hurstbridge railway line and one of Melbourne's strategic cycling corridors.

Footscray should also eventually get the bike link on Napier Street between West Footscray Station and the Maribyrnong River which has been on the cards for a long time and has support from Maribyrnong Council.

What can you do?

Voting is over but that doesn't mean you can't continue to have your say.

Now is a great time to get in touch with your federal MP, whether they are new or continuing, and remind them that bike riding and active transport is an important issue.

You can email your local MP to ask them to make bike riding a priority and make sure they come good on their election promises.

If you do get in touch, please CC in MPs will keep us copied in when they reply and it is handy to see their responses.

Header image: AAP

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