The Active Travel Plan: 18 months to create a wish list with no actual plan

06 Feb 24 | By pp-admin | Media release, News Wheel

The ACT Government has finally released its Active Travel Plan. Pedal Power ACT has said that without timelines, budget, or targets, it is little more than a wish list the Government doesn’t seem committed to actually implementing.

“At first glance, we should be happy,” says Pedal Power ACT Executive Director Simon Copland. “The Plan claims to support numerous improvements we have been advocating for. These include a commitment to converting on-road cycle lanes on priority routes to safe separated cycleways; providing secure bicycle cages in every Town Centre; progressively building the identified priority missing links and more.”

“Sadly, in practice, without targets, an implementation plan or allocated funding, this document is more a wish list than an actual plan. In doing so we fear it will end up sitting in a drawer gathering dust, making it potentially worth little more than the paper it is written on.”

Copland has said that the time it has taken shows the Government just is not taking active travel seriously.

“This plan has been on the drawing board for over 18 months. In that time, the town of Seville, Spain, built an 80 km separated bike network and their cycling rate shot up from near zero to 10 per cent. While other cities are getting on with it, we can’t even produce a meaningful document.”

“Given how long it has taken to get this plan out, there is rightly a perception in the community that the Government is not committed to improving our clearly inadequate cycling infrastructure. It seems that for the ACT Government, producing the plan is the achievement, and delivering on it is secondary, even during the ACT’s climate emergency.”

Until we see some actual rapid investment on active travel, there is at least one use for the document:

“Next time you are cycling on a main road, unprotected from traffic, you could use a copy of the Active Travel Plan to shield yourself from a fatal collision. Good luck!” Copland concludes.

Pedal Power will continue to advocate for a clear, funded implementation plan with rapid, mass, building work to follow as soon as possible.