It has been great to see all parties take an unprecedented interest in bike riding, but what is the better deal? We’ve taken some of the hard work out of comparing funding commitments for walking and cycling for you.
To make it clear we have recalculated each set of commitments over a 4 year period, and compared it with current stated expenditure. We’ve also provided our workings with links and references to source documents.
The $285 million budgeted by government over 5 years to provide paths through south west metro and road projects is the ordinary cost of completing a road. This is not additional funding for walking and cycling, so we have omitted it from the comparison.
It isn’t possible to distinguish what proportion of current funding goes to cycling versus walking infrastructure. Bicycle NSWs requests for a breakdown of this expenditure have not been answered.
It is also unclear what the split will be in the future under a Liberal or Labor government. However the Greens have made a clear commitment to deliver the cycling infrastructure NSW needs to increase activity, reduce congestion and pollution.
Whilst these numbers look big, the transport budget for capital expenditure for this financial year was $12.8 billion. The Greens ask amounts to around $30 per person in NSW or one 2% of the total transport budget. The UN recommends 20% of any transport infrastructure budget be spent on non-motorised transport, so this is a modest increase.
Cycling infrastructure is also a great value investment. One kilometre of road costs the same as around 110km of bikeway and 1km of road tunnel buys over 300km of bikeway.
Bicycle NSW encourages members and riders to use this information in discussions with their MP and local candidates ahead of the election on Saturday the 23rd of March.