Pedal Power ACT tells the ACT Government to invest $120 million into cycling for a ‘compact and competitive’ city.
Pedal Power ACT welcomes the opportunity to comment on the 2017-18 Budget.
With a clear election mandate for world-class integrated transport, this budget is a unique opportunity to fully fund the Government’s vision for a ‘compact and competitive’ city. To deliver this vision, Pedal Power ACT recommends $120 million over four years for cycling infrastructure and related investments.
“The business case for investing in cycling is simple and compelling,” said Pedal Power ACT EO John Amrstrong. “Every trip moved from car to bike has a net benefit for the ACT Government and community.”
“Canberra is now well-placed to build on our cycling heritage and reap the economic and social benefits of a healthier, more productive city.”
“Civic leaders around the world are strongly supporting cycling because it makes economic sense; it is the quickest, easiest, cheapest and most popular remedy for a range of urban problems.”
To transform the way Canberra moves, the Government should deliver over four years:
- major infrastructure investments under the Active Travel Program – $47.7 million;
- path maintenance (including a one-off special capital injection) – $38 million;
- cycling projects under the Urban Renewal Program – $30 million;
- pilot projects, particularly separating bike riders from pedestrians and fast traffic – $2 million
- Active Streets for School – $2 million; and
- non-infrastructure measures listed in Attachment A.
Investing in cycling infrastructure is necessary to deliver Government mode share targets and to complement significant public expenditure in the light-rail project. There are substantial risks in not investing in cycling infrastructure along the light-rail route, principally that people will not be able to get to stops.
The Government can achieve positive transport outcomes right across Canberra, by announcing keystone investments in cycling to close the gaps in the network, fix deteriorating shared paths, and improve cycling in town centres.
Pedal Power ACT estimates that funding for active travel infrastructure fell last year by around $4 million (from $18 million in 2015-16, to around $14 million in 2016-17). However, it is difficult to tell because reporting on cycling budget and spending is not transparent. This reduction led to a piecemeal approach to infrastructure investment.
Pedal Power ACT is consequently recommending that cycling spending is presented in a single budget statement in 2017-18.