Infrastructure investment and legislation is required to create a safer environment for vulnerable road users and to improve cycling participation in Perth. The Labor policy announcement does not address either issue – no funding and no legal protection for people riding bicycles.
Labor’s main transport policy thrust for this election is Metronet. Cycling is positioned as a feeder into the rail system, with all new train stations designed for easy access by, and secure storage for, bicycles.
The policy states: “While we will continue to need to build roads and railways to meet our rapidly growing population we also need to encourage people to use other modes of transport such as cycling. An investment in cycling is one important part of the solution to the traffic congestion crisis currently confronting Perth.”
The announcement indicates that Labor will continue to build roads and improve public transport, but cycling will simply be “encouraged”. If people choose not to cycle, for instance because of the lack of safe connected infrastructure, well it must be because they have not been “encouraged” enough.
It is hard to find anything in the policy announcement that is not covered in the West Australian Bike Network Plan (except perhaps lockers as part of bike shelters).
Labor policy on cycling
In March 2012 the Western Australian Bicycle Network Plan 2012 was released as a draft for consultation.
The plan proposed a number of new initiatives including a connecting schools program and a connecting rail/bus stations program.
The RAC WA recently released a report “The Economic Cycle – A business case for investing in cycling in Western Australia”
In the Report it was noted that “an estimated 400,000 additional passenger vehicles were expected on our roads by the end of the decade”.
While we will continue to need to build roads and railways to meet our rapidly growing population we also need to encourage people to use other modes of transport such as cycling.
Promotion of cycling and investment in cycling infrastructure will result in an increase in commuter cyclists and provide good value for money.
An investment in cycling is one important part of the solution to the traffic congestion crisis currently confronting Perth.
WHAT WA LABOR WILL DO
WA Labor supports the general direction of the Draft Western Australian Bicycle Network Plan 2012-2021 and will continue to progress its development if we are elected
METRONET rail provides a number of opportunities to enhance the Bicycle Network plan and encourage cycling as an alternative mode of transport.
The two proposed Circle Routes of METRONET will run between 10 and 15 kilometres from the Perth CBD.
It will mean that people who live further than 15 kms from the Perth CBD can be encouraged to cycle to rail stations and then complete their journeys on METRONET.
It provides the opportunity to increase the number of suburbs across Perth where cycling can become part of the daily commute.
METRONET will be based on two key principles to encourage cycling:
- A “cyclist first” approach to the planning, design and layout of Stations.
- Stations are connected to their surrounding suburbs by safe, fast and direct cycle routes.
WA Labor will ensure that the new rail stations built as part of METRONET are planned and built with a “Cyclist” first approach.
The greatest complaint about rail stations is a lack of sufficient parking. If more people can be encouraged to cycle to stations it will reduce the pressure on parking at the stations.
WA Labor will:
- ensure all the new railway stations are designed and laid out to encourage and promote cycling.
To assist in this process we will establish a Cycling Reference Group which will be actively involved helping to design the stations from the beginning.
We will ensure each station has a large Lock ‘n’ Ride Bike Shelter located in a prime position close to station’s entrance. WA Labor will ensure these shelters will be large enough to meet demand at each station. CCTV cameras will be positioned to ensure additional surveillance of the entrance to each Shelter.
The provision for personal lockers to allow commuter cyclists to store items, such as wet weather gear, at the new Stations will also be considered as part of the planning process.
And people will also be able to register for a second bike locker so that they can have another bike at the end of their journey to continue their ride to work.
Stations connected to surrounding suburbs
A focus on ensuring good, safe and direct routes to stations within this radius will encourage more people to leave their cars at home and ride/train to work.
In congested areas around stations the provision of good cycle routes can result in trips on bikes being quicker than driving a car to the station.
The 2012 Bicycle Network plan noted “Cycling is often faster than driving in urban areas. For example, during peak hours for distances up to 10km, riding a bicycle is often faster than taking a car.”
The budget for each new railway station will include funding to work with Local Governments in proving cycle routes to the station.
WA Labor will:
- work with Local Governments to develop a local cycle network to provide safe on and off road cycle routes to new railway stations built for METRONET.
As suggested by the leader of the opposition we have submitted suggestions to Ken Travers on the 28.11.12: Cycling suggestions to Labor for 2013 and beyond
The text follows:
We are encouraged by the correspondence from Mark McGowan and like to make our suggestions in regards to cycling from 2013 onwards. We understand that our suggestions have financial implications – and like to point out that the cost/benefit ration of cycling infrastructure is 1:3 – clearly money spent on cycling is well spent!
Transport issues and congestion are a significant topic for the election in March 2013, and we would like to see the contribution cycling can make to smooth transport in Perth explored. Last year between 25% to 42% of people driving cars said they would use a bicycle to ride to work or the train station if they thought it was safe, and 91% of people riding bicycles in Perth indicated they were afraid to share the road with cars.
It is evident that creating a safer environment for people who choose to ride their bicycle instead of using a car to travel to work, school, train stations or shops is important. Research indicates that over 500’000 West Australians have ridden a bike in the last week, but unease about the safety of cycling means the number of people using bicycles for transport, (instead of their car), is much, much smaller. There is a large potential to shift people from cars to more sustainable transport, easing congestion and reducing travel times for people who have no choice but to use individual motorised transport.
We think the following suggestions will help to achieve this aim, and the resulting benefits for all West Australian residents would be applauded in the electorates:
þ 3% of the Transport Budget to go to cycling (to be achieved without reducing spending on Public Transport).
þ Targets, policy and implementation details to increase cycling participation for trips to work (as measured by ABS, currently 1.7%) to double every four years (to 3.4% by 2017, 7.2% by 2021)
þ Targets, policy and implementation details to achieve a 30kmh speed limit on selected urban and suburban roads to make them safer for children riding to school and people riding to shops and train stations
þ A cycling representative on the Road Safety Council
þ A law declaring that motor vehicle drivers must give cyclists a metre clearance when overtaking
þ Support for the 40 recommendations from the OLA/RAC Cycling Safety Forum
þ A policy for the carriage of bicycles on all forms of public transport
þ Targets, policy and implementation details to achieve 30% of primary school children and 40% of high school children cycling or walking to school by 2017
We look forward to work with you to create an environment that enables more people to use active transport to go to work, school, train stations and shops.
Summary of policies
|WA Bike Network Plan (WABN) (Draft), Letter 14.1.13||Bike Vision||Letter 21.11.12|
|Infrastructure||– How many km of Principal Shared Paths will you build- How many km of Recreational and other Shared Paths will you build- How many km of roads in the suburbs will be prioritised for cycling and walking
– How many km of routes to schools, shops and train station will you build
– Will you legislate for End of Trip Facilities to be compulsory in new buildings in the CBD and in activity centres
|– Identifies 134.7 km of missing PSP’s,- Pilot safe routes to schools
|– 300 km PSP’s- 5800 km local protected safe routes to local destinations, schools and train stations- 120km Greenways||In principle support for the WABN|
|Safe cycling environment||– Do you support a 30kmh speed limit on selected urban and suburban roads to create a safer environment for kids riding to school, and for people to reach train stations and shops- Will you support a direct cycling representative on the Road Safety Council- Will you support a legalised safe passing distance of one meter when cars overtake bicycles
– Do you support the 40 recommendations from the OLA/RAC Cycling Safety Forum
|– Trials 30kmh speed limits,- Opposes a legalised safe passing distance- No cycling rep on the Road Safety Council||– Introduce bicycle representation at all levels of government- Introduce legislated safe passing distance, penalties for dooring, and lower speed along suburban bike routes||Not known|
|Increasing cycling participation||– What is your position on the carriage of bicycles on all forms of public transport- How will you increase the number of children cycling to school- Are you planning any other initiatives that will improve cycling in West Australia, what are they and where will they be initiated.
|– No plans to allow bicycles on trains during peak hours, or on buses at any time||– Funded programs aimed at kids, women and adults. Funding for Bike-Ed and Travelsmart||No bikes on trains in peak times. No other details|
|Funding||– What is your budget for the above commitments, and how will they be funded.- Can you make a list of timed and costed individual cycling related projects available.||– $12.66 mio per year for the next two years, total of $25.2mio- No costing of projects||– $80.89mio per year for the next 16 years, total of $1294.24mio- Routes are quantified and costed||No funding commitment|
|Targets and Vision||The WABN will aim to double cycling trips by 2018.||29% of all trips to be done by bicycle by 2029 (15% of trips to work).Identified and costed 61 initatives to make cycling safer||Not known|