Calls for more bike plans in WA stimulus

Environmental advocacy group Clean State have called for bike-specific changes to the WA state government's stimulus plans, including making room for bikes on peak-hour trains in Perth and a twelve-fold extension to new bike paths.

In addition to lowering WA's increasing carbon emissions, their transport proposal aims to create around 6000 new jobs, stimulate the economy and decrease congestion.

Like the rest of the country, Western Australians took up bike riding at a record rate when the pandemic hit, and Clean State's report sees increasing bike parking facilities at train stations and declaring one carriage on every train "bike-friendly" as "a really easy opportunity to keep those people on their bikes."

Currently, bikes are banned by Transperth during peak hours.

Clean State's proposal also called for the state government to increase their planned bike path construction from 150 kilometres over the next four years to 2000 kilometres over the next five years. A big increase, but justified by the benefits to the economy.

"Bike path spending is also one of the most job-rich areas, there is lots of labour and lots of knock-on effects for small bike stores and people making road base. It is this whole ecosystem that gets stimulated," said research and policy director Chantal Caruso

On top of the bike-friendly plans, Clean State also called for renewed support to trackless tram plans in Perth for the state government to swap out their new diesel buses for electric ones.

"We have seen a lot of the stimulus spending go on roads so far but Clean State thinks investment in active transport like buses, trams and bikes are some of the best job-rich projects that will have massive impacts on carbon emissions," she said.

The WA government's current stimulus plans include $260 million a month on road and rail infrastructure by next year.

Initial responses from the Transport Minister's office suggests they will not be adopting any of Clean State's proposals. 

You can read Clean State's media statement here.

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