1. Commit to fairer spending
State government spending on bikes has never been sufficient to ensure a
safe journey for people riding bikes.
Moreover, it has never been transparent. Funding for bikes is often bundled up in
other road projects, which makes it hard to track our progress.
It’s time to support fairer spending. The Victorian Government should
set an active transport budget. This is not just ensuring appropriate funding is available, it is about setting a benchmark for keeping our funding on track, ensuring accountability, and advancing more sustainable transport into the future.
- Allocate 10 per cent of the state’s transport budget for active transport projects and commit to increasing this amount each year.
2. Encourage and support the community
We know that roughly 75 per cent of Victorians are interested in riding, we just need to take action on their concerns.
Let’s provide them with some encouragement. The Victorian Government has led a successful electric vehicle subsidy scheme, which was granted further funding in 2022. It is time to consider an equivalent e-bike incentive scheme.
As well as being an even more sustainable transport option than electric cars, e-bikes can increase physical health and occupy much less road space than private vehicles.
E-bike incentives have good precedent in other city and countries. In Australia, Canberra’s ‘try-before-you-buy’ e-bike library has proven successful, and an e-bike leasing program has recently launched in Hobart. It’s time to give e-bikes a go in Victoria.
Let’s also address the community’s concerns by making the roads safer so that people have the confidence and security to give bikes a go. A great way to start this is with a liveable neighbourhoods fund that allows local government to target unsafe shared roads with traffic-calming measures to make communities safer and more liveable.
Finally, providing bike education at a young age will help us foster a generation of Australians that understand the diverse benefits of active travel, and are motivated to enjoy an active travel lifestyle as they approach adulthood.
- Introduce a no-interest e-bike loan scheme that assists Victorians in purchasing e-bikes.
- Introduce a liveable neighbourhoods fund that communities can access for local traffic calming and placemaking projects.
- Refund Ride2School, Bicycle Network’s flagship behaviour change program, until 2027
3. Lead the charge
Achieving a truly liveable city with sustainable transport requires strong governance and strategic direction. Otherwise it is nothing more than an unfocussed aspiration.
Victoria’s Cycling Strategy was published five years ago, but the landscape has changed in ways that were unforseeable. We endured a pandemic, which shifted our transport behaviours. The ‘work from home’ paradigm means more people will be travelling locally, rather than into the city. The gig economy has risen to unprecedented heights. Bike and e-scooter share systems have reemerged in Melbourne, and patronage is higher than ever before.
It’s time to re-examine our vision for active transport and make sure it is
still the right way forward. It is also an opportunity to develop action plans so we can hit the ground running.
- Prepare a five-year update of the Victorian Cycling Strategy, with clear and focussed action plans for rolling out critical bike projects and getting Victoria back on track.
Victorian Election Bike News
We take a look at the key seats in the upcoming state election, and the key bike projects that you can support.
With election day less than two weeks away, Labor have (re-) announced their commitments to deliver a shared user path between Montmorency and Eltham.
The Greens have pledged a funding package for bike riding and walking that would see bike superhighways built across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
A second, new bridge has been proposed for the congested Walmer Street crossing of the Yarra between Kew and Abbotsford on the Main Yarra Trail.
The Greens candidate for Dandenong at this Saturday’s state election, Matthew Kirwan has promised $11 million to build a bike path between Yarraman and Dandenong.
Responses from candidates
Bicycle Network has sent letters to each and every candidate running in the state election, asking for responses to the following three questions.
1. What is your view regarding the current active transport infrastructure in your electorate?
2. What actions will you take to improve active transport in your electorate?
3. Active transport spending at the state level is less than 2 per cent. In your view, what is a ‘fair spend’ for active transport?
As we receive candidate responses outlining their positions on bikes, we’ll post them here, unedited…
What commitments have been made so far?
In the lead up to the election, we’ll keep you posted on commitments and funding announcements made by major parties that are relevant or directly impact people who ride. This section will be changing as the election progresses and we secure more information. It’s looking a bit bare at the moment, but it is still early days!
If we’ve missed a commitment, please let us know via email: email@example.com.
Sustainable Australia At least double Victoria’s active transport spend.
Victorian Socialists Introduce a free bike share scheme for the Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs.
Read our policies
Take a moment to flick through our Victorian election policy paper and share with friends, family and candidates.POLICY PAPER
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