A young child rides through an underpass under the Huon Hwy on the Whitewater Creek path.
Encourage councils to go for grants

More than $7 million in grants that could pay for cycling paths are up for grabs in the coming months. If your local council has been dragging its heels on a project, it’s time to encourage them to get on with it.

The Tasmanian government has given out almost $7 million in the past nine months, through its Open Spaces Grant, the first round of the statewide Better Active Transport grant, and the greater Hobart Better Active Transport grants.

The next round of the Better Active Transport grants for both greater Hobart and the state offers around $4 million and will close on 8 January.

Councils can apply for funding to design cycling infrastructure, deliver temporary/tactical cycling infrastructure or for construction of the final project.

Coastal Pathway campaigner Alison Horch recently put the heat on Burnie City Council, asking from the floor of its last council meeting whether it had made an application to the grant program.

Burnie City Council has yet to come up with a design for its section of Coastal Pathway east of Wivenhoe. In response to Ms Horch’s question, the council said it hadn’t applied for funding from the grant program and didn’t intend to apply for the second round.

The other grant rounds open for councils to apply for cycling projects are the Vulnerable Road Users Grants ($1 million), which is open until 23 February and the second round of the Open Spaces Grant ($2.47 million) which will open early in 2024. 

Bicycle Network wants to see more money being allocated to cycling infrastructure through recurrent funding programs, such as those for public and road transport, rather than via ad hoc grant rounds.

Bicycle Network’s submission to the Tasmanian government’s budget process recommends the government strive for the UN’s recommendation of 20% of transport budgets being spent on active transport.

Grants given to cycling projects this year:

Better Active Transport statewide grants – Round 1
  • Launceston City Council – Forster Street bike path – $260,000 (construction)
  • Northern Midlands Council – Hobart Road shared pathway – $436,500 (construction)
  • George Town Council – Kanamaluka Trail upgrade – $388,200 (construction)
  • Kingborough Council – Taroona Bike Lane upgrades – $350,000 (construction)
  • Southern Midlands Council – Bagdad shared pathway – $370,000 (construction)
  • Clarence City Council – Clarence Foreshore Trail – $140,000 (construction)
  • Waratah-Wynyard Council – Wynyard to Smithton shared user trail feasibility study – $192,000 (planning)
  • Devonport City Council – The Spreyton Connector (stage 3 of 4) – $1,270,000 (construction).
Better Active Transport in Greater Hobart grants – round 1
  • City of Hobart – Collins Street cycleway design – $30,000 (planning)
  • Clarence City Council – Tasman Highway shared path design – $40,000 (planning)
  • Glenorchy City Council – Granton Road shared path construction – $250,000 (construction)
  • Kingborough Council – Summerleas Road pedestrian and cyclist underpass construction – $750,000 (construction).
Open Spaces grants (cycling projects)
  • Devonport – Don Village Path Connectivity Improvements Project – Walking/cycling path
  • Hobart – Connecting city to mountain – improving access to the Pipeline Track – Walking/cycling path
  • Kingborough – Whitewater Creek Track extension to Kingborough Sports Precinct – Walking/cycling path.