Cycling was an important transport mode, particularly in peak-hour traffic, and should be taken seriously, Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder told the Bike Futures conference in Melbourne.
“I recognise that cycling is one of a number of ways we can meet the huge growth
in demand for transport, particularly peak-hour transport,” Mr Mulder said.
“We want to lift the status of the two-wheel option beyond solely recreation and
into the realms of serious transport,” he told the conference organised by Bicycle Network Victoria.
The Government wanted to encourage cycling as means of replacing the many short trips done by car or public transport and to integrate cycling into the mainstream of private transport.
“I’m certainly keen to remove any stigma that might be attached to cycling that it’s
not a valid mode of transport,” Mr Mulder said.
Figures from the 2006 census – the latest available – showed that between 2001 and 2006, the number of people cycling to work increased by 63 per cent in the central business district and its nine surrounding municipalities.
“While we await the figures from the latest census, figures from the City of
Melbourne and VicRoads tend to suggest those growth rates have continued and
in some cases, accelerated,” he said.
Growth in bike use was being driven by:
• population growth
• changing inner-suburb demographics
• employment growth in the CBD
• increasing transport congestion.
• and the rising cost of fuel.
“As well as new paths and bridges for cyclists, we also recognise the importance
of bicycle storage.
“When a Parkiteer user has left their car at home, it’s a double win for the
community, because as well as getting a car off the road, we’ve also reduced the
strain on station car parking.”
There were more than 30 Parkiteer bike cages across the Melbourne metropolitan
train network owned by the state but operated by Bicycle Network Victoria.
A Parkiteer bike cage could store 26 bikes in the same space as three individual
car spaces and weekly use of the cages had increased to almost 1300 people a
week – up from 400 a week just over two years ago.
Bicycle storage would be an integral part of all new stations, station upgrades, car
park upgrades and park-and-ride developments, he said.
Watch a video of Mr Mulder’s full address: