More commuters cycle to work

From The West:

More Perth commuters are cycling to work, figures have revealed, prompting renewed calls for improved bicycle infrastructure on city roads.

The latest Main Roads WA data shows an increase in the number of cyclists in the CBD in each of the first six months of this year compared with the same months in 2010, with about 165,000 extra bicycles counted at metropolitan hot spots.

The statistics were compiled from permanent counters at 10 sites across the city, where the number of cyclists is counted 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

During March, the busiest month for cycle traffic, about 344,000 bicycles were counted compared with 288,000 in March 2010.

The figures also reveal that Kwinana Freeway, Mounts Bay Road and the Causeway remain the most used cycle routes accounting for 47 per cent of cycle traffic.

Bicycle Transportation Alliance spokesman Heinrich Benz said while the increased numbers were encouraging, the total number of people riding to work was still low compared with other cities.

He said more money needed to be invested in bicycle paths and other infrastructure to make cycling a more attractive and safe way to commute.

“Where we spend money now will be where transport happens in the future,” Mr Benz said.

“If we spend more money on roads, then there will be more cars. If we spend more money on bicycle paths there will be more riders.

“We need to spend money on the travel behaviour we want to have.”

Shadow transport minister Ken Travers agreed, saying the Government did not prioritise bicycle infrastructure.

“The Government keep talking about the Bicycle Network Plan but there has been no action on it for nine months under (Transport Minister) Troy Buswell,” he said.

“More cycling infrastructure will mean more cyclists on the road and less congestion but the Government are not serious about this.

“They are simply not willing to spend money on public transport or cycle infrastructure for the future.”

A spokeswoman for Mr Buswell said the outline of the State Government’s Bicycle Network Plan would be released in the coming months.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said the City of Perth pushed for end-of-trip facilities to be included in all major private development proposals that came before it.

The council this month approved a development on Murray Street that is to include 120 secure bicycle parking bays, showers, lockers and a bicycle maintenance workshop.

About Roland

I returned to cycling around 5 years ago, when I decided to start commuting by bike to work. I'm now cycling around 13,500km's annually, and love it.