Newcastle riders – get on your eBike!

This week BYKKO launched a trial for their electric bike share program in Newcastle – and you can all be a part of it!

BYKKO bike share introduced Australia’s first-ever electric bike share system into Newcastle’s West End precinct.

Three electric bicycles will be installed outside the offices of Rethink Financial Group, near the Recharge Café (corner Dick and Hall Streets Newcastle West).

These e-bikes will be available for use by the Newcastle West business community over summer. Free three-month memberships will be available from 30 November 2016 for riders to use the electric bikes around town.

Electric bikes are a convenient and enjoyable transport mode to get you anywhere around Newcastle.

BYKKO electric bikes can be used to attend meetings, go shopping, head up to the beach or to get to and from where you need to go.

The pedal-assisted e-bikes have a daily range of around 50km before they need recharging and the electric motor assists you with speeds of up to 25km per hour, so you will arrive at your destination refreshed and ready.

Of course, you can also use them as normal push bikes, to combine your journey with your fitness regime. And, you won’t need to bother about finding (and paying for) a parking spot. Just lock the e-bike and helmet up and head to your appointment. At the end of your journey, return your E-bykko to the docking station so that it can recharge and be ready for the next user.

The BYKKO RECHARGE trial will include research on how members use the bikes, providing valuable information for future public or private bike share systems for Newcastle.

For more information about the trial, please visit the BYKKO website.

And be sure to check your Bicycle NSW membership is up to date so you have the peace of mind you get from the most comprehensive bike rider’s insurance for recreational riding. To join us, or renew your membership, click here.

Newcastle Inner City Bypass – Jesmond Cycleway

The Roads and Maritime Services of NSW are building the final section of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass from Rankin Park to Jesmond.

At the northern interchange, the current plans are to remove the shared cycle/foot path between Jesmond Park and Jesmond and replace three signal crossings over eight lanes of traffic.

Bicycle NSW are in consultation with the RMS on this issue and are working hard to impress on them how greatly this will impact bike riders who use this infrastructure.

Local bike riders and Bicycle NSW members are campaigning strongly to have the RMS review their plans for this cycleway. You can log on to http://kissyourpathgoodbye.com/ for details about how you can have your say in this matter.

Submissions to the RMS close on December 16th 2016.

M5 Active Transport Network Review

As part of our ongoing advocacy work, Bicycle NSW has been invited to attend workshops for the review of the M5 Active Transport Network.

Last month our representatives met with groups from the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), City of Sydney and other councils, to begin to provide feedback on providing adequate connections to existing and planned cycleways.

Bicycle NSW pushed the following agenda items:

  • A regional cycleway from Bexley North to Tempe, which could utilise parts of the rail corridor or Wolli Valley.   Our position clearly stated that any on-road route would be sub-standard for bike riders. The  RMS Active Transport group have agreed to do some follow up on this matter.
  • Widening the existing parallel shared paths between King Georges Rd and Bexley North.
  • An Active Transport bridge over King Georges Rd.

We will be posting updates from this working group on our website and in our monthly newsletters.

A Win for Old Meadowbank Rail Bridge Users

Recently we met with Ausgrid in regards to their project to install a high voltage cable across the Old Meadowbank Rail Bridge in late 2016 and early 2017.

This work will affect the pedestrian and cyclist access to the bridge.

Originally, Ausgrid proposed to completely close the bridge for a month. However, following consultation with Bicycle NSW and the bicycle community, they have agreed to:

  • No closures at all (including no diversion via Ryde Bridge)
  • A  narrowing of the bridge over a 30m length which will progressively move across the bridge over a one month period  (Jan 2017). This narrowing will require riders to walk the 30m.

This is a significant win for bike riders. Original plans were to completely close the path. Other plans included night closures, however the final plan allows access to remain open at all times during construction.

The construction will also be occurring during January 2017, which means it will occur in a holiday period when commuting is at its lowest.

Bicycle NSW worked hard with our affiliated Bicycle User Groups (BUGs), Bike North and Canada Bay BUG to achieve this outcome.

We like to acknowledge Ausgrid for their willingness to change their plans to allow for continued access to this bike riding infrastructure.

If you are using the path, please take extra care during this period.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway

Recently, Bicycle NSW attended a project meeting with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), City of Sydney (CoS), Transport for NSW and other stakeholders to continue discussion to improve the Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway.

This project is to improve the connectivity between the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway and Kent St.

The route has many complex constraints brought about by land use, heritage, and topography. All these factors need to be considered and planned for.

Bicycle NSW is working closely with RMS and City of Sydney to advise and advocate for the best possible connection for bike riders to use the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This project is one of our key part of our goal to complete an interconnected Sydney wide bicycle network.

The RMS will be sending us updates first. So we will you know when and where works are happening and what closures will be in place.

As we get this information, we will post it on our website and send news items to all our subscribers. If you are not subscribed to our newsletter, click here to subscribe.

Membership to Bicycle NSW gives members of the bike riding community a voice. The more members, the better we can represent you and create a better environment for bike riding in NSW.

If you would like to join or renew your membership, please click here.

A Win For Sydney – Cycleway to Replace Bridge Steps

Cyclists wheel their bikes up Sydney Harbour Bridge stepsBicycle NSW has been advocating for a solution to the stairs at the North end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After a number of years and significant input and review of potential routes and solutions, Bicycle NSW welcomes the NSW State Government’s announcement today of funding for the Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleways. The Bridge is an international icon and is appreciated by millions of people every year, whether local, interstate or international visitor, by vehicle, foot or bicycle.

The facelift will see improvements to the Southern connection to the Kent Street cycle way, and most importantly, a cycleway to replace the existing steps at the north end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This new ramp will link to the future Naremburn cycle route and connect through to the CBD. Bicycle NSW has been meeting with the State Government and attending workshops to identify possible routes, solutions and innovations to deliver this key piece of infrastructure while maintaining the integrity, importance and the heritage values of the area. The new infrastructure will play a major role in connecting Sydney’s bicycle network of routes, cycleways and shared paths and will provide greater accessibility to the vital commuter link for Sydneysiders wishing to travel between the north and the CBD.

“It’s a testament to our longstanding role as the peak advocacy body for all bicycle riders in NSW, that Bicycle NSW has managed to work with RMS, Transport for NSW and the NSW State Government through the plans and issues presented in the proposed Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleways, to find a solution that maintains the heritage and importance of the Bridge, while allowing more people the opportunity to experience our iconic landmark on two wheels. We have no doubt that this commitment to and investment in bicycle infrastructure will see an increase in people riding bikes for pleasure, recreation and commuting” said Bicycle NSW President, Jon Leighton.

Bicycle NSW will continue to work closely with the Government to advocate for the best possible infrastructure designs and route choices on this integral planning piece of work. With commencement slated for 2017 and anticipated completion dates in 2020, Bicycle NSW is delighted with the funding commitment to support future growth in cycling participation across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Community consultation and input will be sought to provide feedback on the proposal coming in mid 2017. Bicycle NSW will ensure it’s Bicycle User Groups and members are kept well informed of their opportunity to add their voice to the consultation process.

Watch the Roads and Maritime Services Sydney Harbour Bridge Projects Overview Video

View our live video stream of the announcement on our Bicycle NSW Facebook page and read our media release here.

We invite all cyclists to join us in celebrating this next step in creating a better environment for cycling. By joining Bicycle NSW today, you will be helping us continue this great work.

Join Bicycle NSW

 

Photos from the Media Launch on Wednesday 7 December, 2016

 

Celebrate Cycling with Bicycle NSW

Cycling collageBicycle NSW is still celebrating the announcements of the past two weeks!

Friday 1 December 2016: Our advocacy on behalf of both our members and all bike riders in NSW, has successfully demonstrated to the NSW State Government that the proposed Mandatory ID laws slated to come in to effect on 1 March 2017 were not necessary in today’s cycling environment. Our data from the NSW Bike Riders survey helped to prove that a majority of bike riders already carry identification when riding a bike. We are proud that we have a valued place at the policy table and can discuss such important issues directly with the Government and find the best outcome for the needs of the greater NSW community.

Wednesday 7 December 2016: After years of working with the government, participating in scoping workshops and advocating for a commitment to cycling infrastructure, Bicycle NSW was proud to endorse the NSW State Government announcement of funding for the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleways to replace the steps  at the north end and connect the south end directly to the existing cycleways network. This commitment and funding for vital commuter infrastructure will make accessing more of the city via the Bridge more accessible to all bike riders.

To celebrate this achievement, and to help continue the important work we do, we invite all bicycle riders from across NSW to join Bicycle NSW today and help contribute to further great advocacy goals, campaigns and achievements.

Bicycle NSW membership offers great benefits to its members:

  • The best bike riders insurance available in NSW for recreational bike riding – no matter where you live, a Bicycle NSW membership can cover you
  • Comprehensive coverage worldwide, 24 hours a day – ride anywhere in the world and know we’ve got your back
  • Free legal advice and discounted legal services from Veritas Law – ask them for help on bike matters or any other legal service, from property law to wills and estate law.
  • Member benefits and discounts including discounted entry to our iconic event Spring Cycle, the only bike riding event across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Gear Up Girl, the soon to be biggest women’s only community bike ride
  • Representation at the policy table when we advocate for a better environment for cycling

Use the code celebratecycling when you join to receive a celebratory discount off your membership fee!

A Win for Cyclists – Bicycle NSW successfully advocates for changes to proposed ID laws

Cyclists riding in a parkThe NSW State Government has said that it will no longer pursue the mandatory ID laws for bike riders that were scheduled to come into force on 1 March 2017.

Bicycle NSW has always maintained that carrying ID is not a requirement to riding a bicycle and have now been successful in demonstrating that to the Government on behalf of all bike riders.

It’s because of our role as the peak advocacy body for all bike riders in NSW and the on going discussions we have had with the Minister and his Office over the year, that we were able to deliver effective advocacy on this high profile cycling issue and provide an alternative solution to mandatory bike rider ID.

Our 2016 NSW Bike Riders Survey garnered thousands of responses across NSW. During this time, we met regularly with the Minister and the Government to discuss the issue, share the trending results and investigate the need for such a legislation.

In fact, more than 93% of bike riders surveyed currently carry some form of identification when riding.

Cycling statistics

Bicycle NSW will continue to encourage all bike riders to carry some form of ID when riding such as a Bicycle NSW digital membership card. From 1 March 2017 all Bicycle NSW Members will be able to download an alternative ID to a Drivers License with a Bicycle NSW Emergency Membership Card.

“I am proud of the strong, working relationship Bicycle NSW developed with the NSW State Government, RMS and Transport for NSW in order to discuss and resolve this issue.” CEO of Bicycle NSW Craig Meagher said.

Bicycle NSW is creating a Better Environment for Cycling for all Bicycle Riders in NSW and this change in Government policy highlights how we truly represent our membership base.

Initial bike riders survey results show trends to work on

Bicycle NSW surveyed it’s members and bike riders from across NSW in October and November 2016. The initial results identify some interesting trends which will help guide Bicycle NSW’s work towards it’s goal of Creating a Better Environment for Cycling.

Gender divide

Gender statisticsThe first and most alarming result is the enormous disparity between genders responding to the survey which suggests there are many more men riding in NSW than women. With only 26% of respondents identifying as female, Bicycle NSW can see that it’s women’s only community bicycle ride, Gear Up Girl,  is a more important event than ever before.

Registrations open next week and we will be working to encourage these 26% of riders to introduce a girlfriend to the joys of riding through our fun, low pressure, recreational ride. We would love to see the 73% of male riders both support the event through volunteering their time to help get more women riding, but also to encourage their loved ones to give riding a go in this safe, predominantly off-road and traffic free bike ride. Kids of any gender ride for free, so it’s time to make a family day of it.

Statewide RidingLocation statistics

The survey was open to both members and bike riders from across the state, and based on the survey results it would seem that the Sydney catchment area is still the dominant population of bike riders. We have a network of affiliated Bicycle User Groups across the state and we will be consulting with them on how better to work with them and begin shifting these results and encouraging more people outside of the Sydney area to try bike riding for fun, recreation, fitness or even commuting.

Our BUGs already run successful rides for all levels of riders on almost every day of the year, a listing of which can be found on our Push On Rides Calendar. Some already run or are planning to run larger scale events like the Tour de Coffs, we will continue to work with our BUGs to increase participation in cycling across NSW.

Reasons for Riding

Reasons for riding resultsSome of the most interesting results lay with reasons for riding. The most significant reason for respondents to ride a bike in NSW is for exercise or fitness purposes (86%) or fun and recreation (81%). Both of these reasons for riding are the exactly why we want to encourage more people to try riding a bike. We were happy to see a significant portion choose to commute to work by bike (52%) or for active transport purposes instead of using a car or public transport (42%). Training also attracts nearly 1/3 of cyclists (31%) and is included in the personal accident and public liability insurances that Bicycle NSW offers its members, the best insurance available in NSW for recreational bike riding.

Worrying trend in Transport Choices

Transport choices resultsMost concerning is the large number of respondents who are bike riders who drive a car on a daily basis. The initial results indicate more than 20% drive daily but less than 20% of cyclists ride a bike daily. It’s heartening that the 2-4 times a week segment does see a significant portion, nearly half, riding bikes, but still a high proportion of car drivers as well. We will continue to analyse the qualitative data and individual responses on what would make riding better and more accessible for respondents and begin to formulate ways forward in tackling this driving trend to help reduce congestion on our streets.

 

Our initial survey results are available to download for interested bike riders, members and stakeholders. Download your copy now: Bicycle NSW-bike-riders-survey-results-2016

Bicycle NSW has 40 years of experience advocating in NSW for bike riders and their rights. Members are what makes our work possible and are the key stakeholders we aim to support, whether it’s through their local BUG, through State and local Council policy advocacy, or by increasing awareness of cycling as an easy and safe way to get around under your own steam. Join today.

Join now

Take action – make your local area a better environment for bike riding

The City of Parramatta is working to build a new Bike plan for their local area. They are asking the community to give them feedback to feed directly into their plan and information about any potential new / improved cycle routes.  If you want this to happen - let them know!

The survey provides an opportunity for all residents, business owners, workers and visitors to influence Parramatta’s future transport system to support a healthy, resilient, vibrant and sustainable city.

This survey focuses on cycling, and they are keen to hear from all of the community, especially if you are interested but do not currently ride for any reason.

If you are a local businesses, they would love to hear how cycling can assist you, for both your staff and for your business.

There are three parts to this process, the Survey, a Community Workshop and an Online Mapping Tool (see links below), which will be available for four weeks, between 14th November and 11th of December.

There will be a community workshop in Parramatta, at Town Hall, 6-8pm, on the 7th December - light refreshments will be provided and all participants will receive a $50 Coles/Myer gift card as a thank you for your time - please see here for details and to register.

There is also an online mapping platform, where you can map bike related issues in specific locations in Parramatta.

Please feel free to share this survey with your family, friends and colleagues.