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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

WA Bicycle Network Plan Needs More Oomph

This review of the WA Bicycle Network Plan is presented here as a contribution to better-informed decision-making in public policy.

The WA Bicycle Network Plan is a useful updating of previous bicycle network plans, but it fails to consider:
- complementary behavioural and encouragement initiatives, to maximise the additional cycling activity created by the bicycle network;
- higher population forecasts than those on which the 2012 draft Plan was based; or
- how the plan is to be effectively implemented over a reasonable period of time.

Education and encouragement, directly linked to infrastructure investment, needs to be added to the Plan. Targeted funding in these areas, especially in conjunction with infrastructure improvements, can increase cycling dramatically.

The Plan should ‘fight its own cause’ by providing evidence of the significant economic benefits of cycling – see the previous post on the STC Blog: ‘Cycle and Walking ARE Economic Activities’ (http://sustainabletransportcoalitionofwa.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/cycling-and-walking-are-economic.html).

Beyond the planning, there are insufficient funds in the WA State Budget to implement this Plan within 10 years. The identified funds for 2015 are about half what is needed, and the following three years are less than a fifth of those needed. There is no indication of, nor commitment to, funding beyond 2017/18.
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Written and posted by Ian Ker, Deputy Convenor, STCWA

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