Many politicians don’t regularly hear from bike riders or, understand how much community support there is for safe cycling infrastructure. This is not so surprising. If your local area has never had safe cycling infrastructure, most people won’t think to ask for it.
The run up to an election is a great time to keep active transport front and centre in the hearts and minds of both candidates and voters. Bicycle NSW wants to help you reach out to candidates and ask them to promise improvements to bike infrastructure in order to win your vote.
What are candidates in northern Sydney saying about cycling?
Bicycle NSW and Bike North have written to all candidates in northern Sydney and asked for their response to questions about our promoted election priorities: – double the investment in active transport, enforce road safety, Better Streets and education, infrastructure and programs to accelerate
The responses from North Sydney candidates can be found HERE - search via electoral area.
Use these responses to inform your voting preference. Or use them to open up further discussions with your candidates. Let them know how important cycling is to you and the community.
Safety is key to increasing bike riding. We want every street to be a Better Street, 30km/h speed limits on residential streets and town centres, a network of connected separated cycleways on key corridors where traffic is faster, and Minimum Passing Distance rules consistently enforced.
Education to help everyone share the road safely is critical. We want the NSW Government to lead effective awareness campaigns that change road user culture, and a statewide active travel to school program with an ambition to see 75% of children walk, cycle or take public transport to school.
Legislation must ensure that active transport is considered for every project in NSW. We want the excellent frameworks, policies and strategies developed by the NSW Government to be embedded into environmental planning legislation to ensure people-first planning is 'must have' rather than 'nice to have'.
Budget for active transport outcomes increased in 2022 but still only represents 1% of the total transport spend. We want a doubling of the active transport spend to $400 million/year (increasing rapidly to align with global best practice), tax rebates or subsidies to accelerate the adoption of e-bikes and lightweight micromobility, and a rapid roll out of rail trails in regional NSW.
Here’s how you can help advocate for better bike riding:
Communicate to friends and neighbours about the state election. Ask 'What's important for cycling and walking in your electorate?' Prompt them to share an idea or a picture with politicians or on social media.
Engage friends in dialogue about Bicycle NSW campaigns and the Better Streets movement. Encourage them to volunteer to canvas candidates in their respective suburbs. A network of grassroots advocates will make our collective voice very loud!
Share articles and stories about active transport on social media to inform friends and community groups about topics such as 30 km/h speed limits, e-bike subsidies, local infrastructure projects, walkable neighbourhoods and safer roads. 'Want to ride to work and school in safety? Here's how!’
Write to all your local candidates. Below are some issues and phrases that you might like to include in emails, letters or social media posts. They would make great talking points if you bump into a candidate at the shops!
Join Bicycle NSW in advocating for better infrastructure. Become a Member during the election campaign and get 20% off your membership.
Questions to ask your candidates
- Will you help advocate for a doubling of the active transport budget?
- Will you help advocate to enforce laws to make bicycle riding safer?
- Do you support Better Streets initiatives such as 30 km/h speed limits, safe routes to school and quietways?
- Will you help advocate for education, infrastructure and programs in your electorate to accelerate a mode shift from car dependency to bicycle riding, walking and public transport?
- Why do you see active travel as important in your electorate?
- If elected, which projects will you advocate for to achieve better outcomes for walking and bicycle riding?
These are the questions you may wish to put to every candidate. Please let us know what you hear! Four of these questions need a simple yes or no answer while two offer an opportunity for a longer response. Responses from elected candidates will be published to this page.
Sample Letter Sections
These sections can be used to compose a letter or an email to your candidates. Mix and match! Pick the bits you want to use. Don't make it too long. Be positive about cycling and praise any recent progress to deliver safe infrastructure for bike riding in the electorate.
Make sure you mention that you are a resident of the electorate and a voter. Use personal experiences and examples to make your point individual and local. You can check your electorate here.
You may like to share articles and data about active transport and safer streets to help candidates understand why these issues should be their priority. The Bicycle NSW articles below provide some excellent resources to get you started. Look out for more links and content over the next few weeks.
The full list of candidates will be confirmed in early March here. In the meantime, please sharpen your pencils and write to candidates
that you know will be standing!