The new power-sharing agreement between ACT Labor and the ACT Greens includes several cycling-specific priorities, which go some way to providing cycling policy in line with those promised by both parties before the election.
“We know there is a lot to do, but Pedal Power ACT thinks this is a strong step in the right direction,” said CEO John Armstrong of the agreement.
“Having the figure of $30 million and a solid platform is an excellent start, and we look forward to working with the Government and helping in any way we can to make Canberra a better place for bike riding.”
“I’m disappointed that the Greens couldn’t convince Labor to adopt the full $80 million proposed for cycling infrastructure and promotion, but overall having costed items in the agreement that focus on making it easier to ride a bike in Canberra is a big win,” said Armstrong.
While the $30 million designated to path maintenance and ‘suburb improvements’ in the agreement falls short of the $80 million proposed by the Greens in their policy platform, it does improve on the initial $8 million promised by Labor.
The agreement includes the following priorities relating to cycling:
– Raise the profile of the Active Travel Office, and through the Office coordinate the rollout of $30 million in additional priority footpath maintenance, cycling and walking route upgrades, and age-friendly suburb improvements in our shopping centres and existing suburbs;
– Adopt the World Health Organisation’s HEAT model for Budget assessment of active travel projects; and
– Facilitate the establishment of bike hubs by the private sector (such as those operating in Brisbane).
The agreement also references ACT Labor’s platform, which includes the promise to establish a cycling tourism strategy, and to build the “new Belconnen Bikeway to promote cycling and make riding a bike easier around the Belconnen town centre.”