Sep 24, 2010

National leadership on cycling

National leadership on cycling

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

September 24 2010

Australia’s Transport Ministers have today outlined a new National Cycling Strategy, which aims to double the number of cyclists by 2016.

The Australian Transport Council of Federal, State and Territory Transport Ministers, which met for the first time since the federal election, endorsed the Australian National Cycling Strategy 2011-16 in Melbourne today.

We are serious about tackling climate change and traffic congestion as well as encouraging healthier lifestyles in our cities and regional communities.

The data available shows that there were more than 1.9 million people cycling in Australia in 2008, up 21% per cent over just three years.

In addition, bicycles have out-sold cars every year over the last 10 years, with half of all Australian households owning at least one bike.

This significant progress has resulted through policies, such as the Gillard Government’s $40 million National Bike Paths program which has supported nearly 170 infrastructure projects, as well as comprehensive plans in place in the states and territories.

The National Cycling Strategy is ambitious and a sign of the commitment that federal, state and territory governments bring to tackling climate change and urban congestion.

Given up to 20 per cent of car trips in Australia are less than five kilometres, cycling provides greater opportunities to address congestion and carbon emissions.

Transport currently comprises nearly 15 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions – an increase of five per cent since 2000.

As a zero-emission mode of transport, replacing even five per cent of car trips to bicycle has the potential to reduce emissions impacts by up to eight per cent.

The six key actions in the National Cycling Strategy include:

  • promoting the benefits of cycling for both recreation and commuting;
  • working with employers to create cycle-friendly workplaces;
  • extending networks of safe cycle routes and end-of-trip facilities;
  • considering and addressing cycling needs in transport and land use planning;
  • continuing programs to target cyclist safety and road user perceptions;
  • developing national decision-making processes for investment in cycling; and
  • sharing best practice across the country.

The strategy was developed in consultation with the Australian Bicycle Council, bicycle industry associations, user groups, and local governments.

The National Cycling Strategy 2011-2016 is available at http://www.austroads.com.au/abc/