A Shorten Labor Government will invest $260 million to upgrade the nation’s cycling paths to encourage more people to ride bicycles to work or school and capitalise on the rapidly expanding cycling tourism market.
Labor’s National Bike Paths Strategy will provide the largest ever investment in bike paths from the Federal Government and underscores our commitment to active transport.
Labor will partner with state and territory governments or local councils to unlock even more investment and make a difference to the health, safety and overall amenity for people living in cities and towns across Australia.
According to research by the National Heart Foundation and the Cycling Promotion Fund, a key reason Australians cite for not cycling is concern for their safety when they ride on roads.
Further research by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has found that 80 per cent of cyclists would ride more frequently if there were more bike paths.
Labor’s record investment in bike paths will remove these obstacles to greater participation in cycling, with higher cycling rates not only improving health outcomes for cyclists, but also taking cars off our congested roads.
We will achieve this by delivering strategic projects that target missing links, requiring project proponents to use best practice as part of the design parameters.
Labor’s new cycling strategy will also target the growing tourism sector of cycling tourism, also known as trail tourism, which offers great opportunities for regional communities.
Cycling tourists spend $300 million a year in New Zealand, with more than a third of the visitors coming from overseas.
Australia can be a bigger part of this growing tourism sector which will also help regional communities link up local tourism attractions via bikeways.
Labor will also look to develop in Government a national guide for cities that provides detailed national and international best practice designs and resources for practitioners for the effective design and delivery of bicycle infrastructure to enable significant cycling participation, while ensuring innovative outcomes for the entire transport system and return on investment for funds invested.
Labor’s National Bike Paths Strategy builds on our legacy, where the former Federal Labor Government oversaw record investment in bike paths across the nation.
It also builds on commitments already made by Labor, namely that infrastructure project proposals show consideration of integration of active transport.
Labor has listened to communities and representatives from across cycling networks and today’s policy reflects their calls for greater investment.
Only Labor can be trusted to deliver the infrastructure projects Australia needs.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.