As part of the recent Tourism and Transport Forum Australian Transport Summit, Bicycle NSW Board Member – John Richardson participated in a panel dialogue on cycle ways with the President of the NRMA Wendy Machin and Terry Lee-Williams from the City of Sydney. The dialogue gave all an opportunity to discuss the fundamental requirements of good cycle ways and the benefits that they provide for road users in our cities and throughout the state. This was conducted amongst an audience of transport and infrastructure industry representatives and experts. Congratulations to the TTF for including the dialogue as part of this important conference.

The NRMA is the largest Auto Association in Australia and its over 2.4 million members include a large number of cyclists. Terry Lee Williams explained that the City’s cycle ways have been designed to provide wherever possible a physical separation for users from motor vehicle traffic. This was a key to encouraging non-riders from getting onto a bike either again or for the first time. He made the really interesting point that the Council is being urged to increase the cycle way network and make the city more bicycle friendly by CBD Businesses as well as residents in the surrounding suburbs.

Bicycle NSW encourages the state government to take a long term view of the serious problem of congestion on our roads and transport routes. The Government has already asked the question of whether the status quo will suffice for the state’s rail system and decided that in 20 years time the system won’t be able to meet demand unless things change. We contend that the same approach should apply to traffic congestion and that the car dominated planning of the current status quo is no way to solve our congestion problems. The solution to these issues includes greater choice including better cycling infrastructure. We hope the Government’s Long Term Transport Master plan embraces these solutions.

One of the earlier speakers at the Summit commented that retrofitting required infrastructure is the most expensive and inconvenient way to improve transport solutions. That is why we strongly support all new road and transport infrastructure being built needing to include provision of cycling options, be it adjacent cycle ways on the local auxiliary roads on the Pacific Highway redevelopment or the provision of more secure bike parking at the North West Railway stations.

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