The Australian Greens have a plan to:
The Greens $1 billion for bikes package will give Australians the freedom to ride for every journey.
Investing in active transport reduces congestion, reduces pollution and improves physical and mental health. Cycling is good for people’s health, and benefits the wider community. Economically, investing in bike paths and lanes is extremely cost effective compared to building roads, and more people riding reduces traffic congestion. As a pollution -free mode of transport, the environmental benefits of cycling are clear.
While most Australians own a bike, most people don’t ride regularly because of the lack of infrastructure and facilities to support cycling. Our $1 billion for bikes package will make Australia a place to cycle more safely and easily.
Create a comprehensive network of bicycle routes linking key destinations
What we need is a network of safe, comprehensive and continuous routes that connect directly and integrate smoothly with public transport networks and other destinations such as schools and shopping centres. Less than 1% of the transport budget is currently spent on bicycle facilities. There needs to be a dramatic increase in funding if we are to see increased cycling across our country.
The Greens will invest in infrastructure that better integrates cycling and public transport, supports cycling for commuting and creates a network of cycling links for local and longer trips. We will work with state and local governments and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a consistent approach to developing a high quality network of cycling infrastructure.
The Greens support the aim of spending $20 per person per year on active transport infrastructure, as high cycling jurisdictions like the Netherlands and Denmark currently do. Our fund would see the federal government provide more than half of this amount, and we would work to spread the investment across federal, state and local governments.
Develop end-of-trip facilities that make it possible for people to cycle
Infrastructure projects should integrate facilities designed for cycling, such as secure high standard bicycle parking, showers and lockers. Infrastructure and facilities need to support the use of bicycle transport by allowing cyclists the opportunity to shower and change at the beginning or end of their journey, and store their possessions safely.
Invest in safe and secure public bike storage
There is consensus on the need to provide good bike parking for cyclists—especially secure, sheltered parking to prevent theft and to protect bicycles from inclement weather. Research has shown that compared to a baseline level of 5.8% of work trips by bicycle, providing outdoor bike parking was estimated to raise the bicycle share to 6.3%. Secure indoor parking raised the bicycle share to 6.6%, and to 7.1% when combined with shower facilities.
Bike parking is one of the key aspects of integrating bicycling with public transport. Studies have shown that better integration of cycling with public transport leads to more bike and ride trips, and to more cycling overall.
Provide safer riding by expanding the number of fully separated bike lanes
Every bike rider death on Australian roads is a preventable tragedy and almost all are a failure of our infrastructure. Roads and related infrastructure need to provide safe routes for cyclists. Additionally, cycling corridors that maximise the separation of cyclists and motor vehicles will encourage more people to ride. The Greens would ensure that more bike lanes are put in place, and that the highest risk routes are prioritised.
Boosting bike tourism
The Greens want to boost cycling tourism in Australia. Across the country, we have great opportunities to showcase our countryside and regional attractions through bike tourism, and get more people involved in healthy tourism experiences. It creates local economic activity in our regions, and can link in with other tourism attractions such as food and wine trails.
Participation in bike tourism is growing domestically and internationally, and there are a range of regional areas nationwide which are poised to take advantage of this opportunity. Our $1 billion for bikes package would unlock funding to flow to regional areas, creating significant economic and social benefits from associated tourism businesses.