The NSW Government knows how to solve cycling safety issues and get more people riding, now it’s time for the back-pedalling to stop.
Promises Aren’t The Same As A Final Product
Bicycle NSW regularly shares announcements of funding, new infrastructure, and new government policy, anticipating positive change for riders in NSW. Unfortunately announcing pop-up cycleways or new infrastructure is not the same as them actually being built.
Barriers To Funding And Support
Sometimes the objection by one Councillor can be enough to destroy plans for cycling infrastructure. At other times projects need amending following consultation, but can risk losing funding if this delays construction, or designs need to change.
The challenge for Councils when this happens, is that all resources spent on planning and design to secure funding can be wasted. Thereafter it is considered ‘too risky’ to apply for funds to build cycling infrastructure. The uncertainty and ad-hoc approach to funding bike infrastructure also makes it impossible to plan effectively, communicate clearly to residents, or to achieve the economies of scale that a network delivery plan could achieve.
Worse still, when communities are promised safe separated infrastructure and then let down, this erodes trust in government, often amongst people who have worked hardest to get positive change. Road projects are never managed like this, and it’s time for change so Councils can afford to deliver more safe cycling infrastructure to help riders decongest roads and public transport.
Let’s Make The Change
It’s time for:
- Project based funding grants, rather than annual, so Councils can procure and plan sustainably and with confidence
- Clear communication of the Principle Bike Networks in every major centre and links in regional areas, so the community and major project managers understand how elements fit together across Council boundaries and can plan for the future
- Bike infrastructure delivery to receive the level of funding priority that reflected in the NSW Government Road User Space Allocation Policy
“We have seen NSW Government plans, announcements, promises and policies that all head in the right direction, only to then watch them slip away,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“Shifting to processes and funding models that better align with State Government Policy, will better enable Councils and the community to support mode shift to bike riding,” said Bastien.
We encourage members to share a selfie with their local MP and Councillor. Show them the places you love cycling, and the challenges you need their help to overcome.