Newcastle City Council is in the process of reviewing their Cycling Strategy and Action Plan in order to set priorities, clear directions and specific actions to be achieved over the next four to five years.
Earlier this year, they reached out to their community to better understand the needs and wants for cycling. 2383 online surveys were completed and this information will underpin the future of cycling in Newcastle.
Since 2014, there has been an increase in the frequency of people riding at least once a week from 22% to 39% in 2020.
The top factors that would encourage more riding are:
- More physically separated on-road lanes - 77%
- More off-road paths - 75%
- More considerate, courteous behaviour by drivers - 48%
76% of respondents said that they do not feel safe riding on busy or main roads with no cycle lanes.
Shared paths (61.7%) and physically separated lane on road (57%) are the locations that frequent bike riders felt safest.
A total of 224 responses mentioned specific improvements to cycling infrastructure. The top three specific improvements noted were maintenance:
- Fernleigh track
- Paths along Honeysuckle
- Bathers’ Way
Behaviours/campaigns/safety policy was the number 1 action if implemented would have the biggest impact on making riding safer in Newcastle. From that, improving driver and cyclist education and awareness was the key action.
“With cycleways in Newcastle being one of the top four priority projects, we’re keen for the Council to commit to supporting more bike riding initiatives. With many projects and plans already in place we’re excited to see the development of this Strategy,” commented Kim Lavender, Bicycle NSW Communications Manager.
You can read the full consultation report here. Stay tuned for the City of Newcastle’s draft Cycling Strategy coming out shortly.