Build for a bicycle future

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We need to build more places for people to ride, make bike riding a social norm and protect people who ride.

It’s no secret that Australia’s urban transport networks are under increasing pressure to meet the needs of our cities and towns. Traffic congestion and its negative effects have become an increasingly critical challenge for decision makers.

We cannot deny that the cost of traffic congestion has significant ramifications for national health and wellbeing, sustainable economic growth, social amenity and the environment.

Yet despite the best intentions of transport planners, the movement of motor vehicles continues to be prioritised over other sustainable and cost-effective transport modes.

The mindset of governments at all levels must shift from a focus on moving vehicles to moving the most amount of people quickly, cheaply and actively. In the process, we’ll create smart, healthy, connected and productive communities.

Together we can build a bicycle future

Bicycle Network’s federal budget submission has three key objectives: build more places for people to ride, make bike riding a social norm and protect people who ride.

Within those objectives are a number of specific programs and initiatives, including a National Ride2School program, a paid ride-to-work scheme, rebates for new bicycles, a safe streets traffic calming fund and better motor vehicle safety standards.

Bicycle Network is asking the federal government to build more places to ride with the following objectives:

  • Develop an ongoing cycling infrastructure fund starting with $492 million in 2020-21, based on $20 per each Australian
  • Create a safe streets fund of $10 million per year that allows local councils to develop traffic calming projects, similar to Yarra City Council’s 30km/h speed zone trial in inner-Melbourne.
  • Invest in transport alternatives for commuter hubs, including building better bike lanes and paths that lead to railway stations to reduce the people’s reliance on cars.
  • Amend the Building Code of Australia to include the provision of end-of-trip facilities so that more people can ride somewhere and park their bike, get changed and freshen up if they wish.
  • Continue and expand the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) to boost cycling tourism
  • Deliver on 2019 federal election bike commitments, including improvements to Yarra Boulevard and Walmer Street bridge in Melbourne, a new mountain bike park in Queesntown, Tasmania, and the Northern Rives Rail Trail in New South Wales.

Bike riding needs to be made a simple, everyday activity that every person can do. It should be accessible, affordable and inclusive. 

Bicycle Network would like to see the federal government fund the following programs to make bike riding a social norm:

  • A paid ride-to-work scheme where commuters can claim $5 for each day that they ride a bike to work.
  • A tax rebate scheme where people can claim 25% of the cost of a new bicycle bought for commuting, including pedelec e-bikes.
  • A National Ride2School program including Road Ready and Mind.Body.Pedal initiatives to help young Australians become confident riders and healthy, active people.

Bicycle Network’s Ride2School program is increasing the number of students who ride, walk, scoot or skate to school, but it only operates in Victoria and Tasmania.

$4 million per year would fund a National Ride2School program and help get more Australian children active, while a further $5.5 million and $2.6 million annually for Road Ready and Mind.Body.Pedal initiatives would help Bicycle Network target specific barriers to bike riding. 

As well as dedicated bike lanes and safer speed limits, there are more things we can do to protect people who ride, including reducing the risks that trucks can pose.

Bicycle Network would like to see the federal government:

  • Establish higher safety standards for heavy vehicles
  • A $1.4 million heavy vehicle awareness campaign

Heavy vehicles need to be improved with less risks for people who ride. Improved safety standards should include class V mirrors and reversing and blind spot cameras, side underrun protection rails, left-turn and reversing alert systems and hydraulic payload monitoring system to determine and notify drivers of real-time truck weight.

A heavy vehicle awareness campaign should also be funded to build awareness among truck drivers and people who ride about their visibility and behaviours. This would similar to Bicycle Network’s Swapping Seats campaign.

Download our Full submission

If the federal government commits to building more places for people to ride, making bike riding a social norm and protecting people who ride we will be on our way to making bike riding an easy thing for everyone to do.

It will reduce our crippling traffic congestion, reduce the costs of poor health from a lack of physical activity and make Australia a better place to live.


Federal Budget_Bicycle Network Ride2School

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