Issues for bike riding impact everyone, and we’re heartened by the shared concern and engagement.
Roy & HG call for ‘hands across the water’ to solve big issues in sport. It may be comedy, but they speak to a deep Australian need for politicians and leaders to work together on really important issues that affect all of us.
Bicycle NSW knows bike riding issues impact everyone no matter who you vote for, or even if you aren’t yet eligible to vote. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for more space for bike riding to help us travel safely, exercise, stay healthy, reduce inactivity costs on individuals and the taxpayer, and now to reduce road and public transport congestion on as we practice safe distancing.
Political Support for Bike Riding
On the 12 May Independent MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich asked Transport Minister Andrew Constance MP questions related to improving infrastructure for bike riding. This follows his success obtaining a letter from Minister Constance explaining that bike riders should not be booked for driving with an empty bike rack.
Jamie Parker MP, Greens member for Balmain has been a strong supporter of our efforts to make the Westconnex Rozelle Interchange project safer for bike riders. Active Transport Portfolio holders for The Greens and Labor, Cate Faeherman MP and Jo Haylen MP have also been strong supporters of Bicycle NSW.
The Hon. Peter Primrose MP, Labor’s shadow minister for regional roads supported our efforts to improve the safety of light rail crossings. On 11 March this year, the Hon. Daniel Mookhey (Labor’s Shadow Minister for Finance and Small Business, the Gig Economy) and Member of the Legislative Council, questioned Minister Constance and the Government in Budget Estimates. Below is a summary of major points discussed:
Rozelle Interchange Questions
82-3 Vehicles parked on the shared path at the Westconnex Rozelle Interchange Project
Efforts are to be made to access CCTV footage
84 Whether a safe systems approach and hazard evaluation were used and applied to diversions at Rozelle Interchange
A Road Safety Audit was conducted before and after the alternate routes were brought into operation… The alternate routes are compliant with the relevant Australian Standards and Austroads Guides, namely the Cycling Aspects of Austroads Guides, and the Guides to Road Design and Traffic Management. Additionally, the Road Safety Audits conducted on the alternate routes were developed in accordance with the procedures and guidelines described in the Roads and Maritime Services’ 2011 Guidelines for Road Safety Audit Practices and the 2019 Austroads Guide to Road Safety: Part 6 Roads Safety Audit checklist. Transport for NSW conducted hazard identification and mitigation.
86 (b) Did transport officials make any assurances to Bicycle NSW or any other stakeholders that nothing would be removed on Gordon Street?
Transport for NSW committed to Bicycle NSW to review whether it would be possible to remove parking on Gordon Street. It did not commit to removing parking on Gordon Street.
Proper Use of Traffic Guidelines
Labor’s shadow Minister for Roads and Member of the Legislative Council, the Hon John Graham then asked:
Q87. “...one of the concerns that has been raised is that the guides for traffic management and road safety that were being used to assess this were the 2009 ones rather than the more up-to-date Austroads Guide to Temporary Traffic or the Guide to Traffic Management…The contractor will not have had to demonstrate a safe system approach in assessing its project...”
A.“The alternate routes are compliant with the relevant Australian Standards and Austroads Guides, namely the Cycling Aspects of Austroads Guides, and the Guides to Road Design and Traffic Management. Additionally, the Road Safety Audits conducted on the alternate routes were developed in accordance with the procedures and guidelines described in the Roads and Maritime Services’ 2011 Guidelines for Road Safety Audit Practices and the 2019 Austroads Guide to Road Safety: Part 6 Roads Safety Audit checklist.”
Q 80-89 queried the costs involved in putting the cycling diversion in place
“The department does not have a detailed breakdown of the cost of temporary alternate routes.”
A range of supplementary questions on notice (50-5) were also asked related to the impact of the Rozelle Interchange on issues faced by bike riders and pedestrians. Questions were also asked about the issues related to light rail in Newcastle, Sydney and Parramatta (78-83).
Cross Party Consensus
Most recently we shared in parallel Jo and Cate’s letters calling on the government to provide more space for safe cycling as part of a planned response to COVID-19. Together with councils, members, bicycle user groups, health experts, planners, riders, and Bicycle NSW, their call has been heard and answered.
Bicycle NSW has ‘walked the talk’ on consensus-building. Our work with the previous Liberal Member for Coogee, Bruce Notley Smith MP saw the age of footpath riding raised from 12 to 16 years of age. Last year each of the major parties spoke at our bike forum in Parliament House addressing issues for bike riders.
“We appreciate the power of teamwork and consensus building across the political spectrum, because bike riding issues are non-partisan,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“It is also vital to our democracy that questions are asked, and answers provided on the things that matter most to people impacted by government projects and decisions,” said Bastien.
Bicycle NSW has seen an increase in letter writing, the sharing of social media posts, images and videos where you are showing us, and your elected representatives what needs fixing. You can see the impact of your efforts, and we encourage you to keep up the great work.