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Giant web of bike pathways planned for Perth

By Kent Acott, The West Australian

The Greens will today unveil a new funding framework that would see 6600km of separated bike paths in Perth - covering 50 per cent of all metropolitan roads - by 2029.

The framework needs 3 per cent of the State Government's transport budget, or about $64 million, to be spent on cycling infrastructure each year.

Another $8 million would come from the Federal Government and $8.7 million from local government authorities based on per capita funding of $5 per ratepayer.

The Greens 2029 Perth Bike Plan, which was described by Bicycling WA chief executive Jeremey Murray yesterday as "the most detailed and research-driven bike policy in Australia", also proposes an 1800km network to link all schools, shops, train stations and employment hubs.

Other new paths would fill gaps in existing cycling networks and connect neighbourhoods with major destinations.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said Perth had a clear appetite for cycling and even more people would take it up if safety was improved.

The Barnett Government recently increased bike infrastructure funding to $20 million over the next two years.

Under the Greens plan, other proposals include:

  • Introduce a "quick response" team to deal with path maintenance issues.
  • Mandate the provision of bike parking, showers and lockers in government-owned properties over a certain size and all inner-city commercial and office buildings.
  • Retrofit carparks to include bike parking.
  • Investigate the removal of peak-hour restrictions on bikes on trains.
  • Undertake a cost benefit analysis on adding dedicated carriages for bikes to peak-hour trains.
  • Establish bike-hire schemes across the city centre and at major activity areas.
  • Introduce bike awareness as a component of driver training.
  • Introduce penalties for "dooring" - where motorists open car doors in the path of cyclists.
  • Introduce a hotline to report aggressive and abusive drivers.

Mr Murray said the strategy was ambitious but had the potential to transform the bicycle network and substantially increase the number of people riding bikes.

Copies of the strategy are available at scottludlam.org.au/bikevision


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Dated - 16.11.2012

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