Today the Office of the Auditor General has released its report into the state of cycling in Perth. This was a unique opportunity for an independent view to be formed on whether appropriate support and infrastructure is in place to encourage cycling as a safe, attractive and viable transport option. Western Australia is the cycling capital of Australia so we welcome the Auditor General’s report. The
review has highlighted that there is positive momentum behind cycling at a State Government level, but there is still a lot to do to make Western Australia a truly bike-friendly state.
“What this report has shown is that no single State Government department can be held responsible for the success of cycling in Perth. It requires all departments to work side by side with a shared goal”, said Matt Fulton, WestCycle Chief Executive Officer.
He added that the state’s cycling organisations also have a key role to play. Under the WestCycle model, organisations are now working in harmony to create a better environment for people to travel by bike.
“We commend the State Government for putting us in a position where we have 172km of Principal Shared Paths, another 183km in planning and the State Government spending close to $20 million per annum on cycling infrastructure”, said Mr Fulton.
“Investment such as this will help to address the gaps in the bike network and increase connectivity. However, the number of people riding a bike on a weekly basis has grown to 600,000, a 50% increase in just over 2 years, so a continued focus and commitment to funding is required to ensure that we can continue to cycle-proof Perth.”
“Unfortunately safety is still the number one barrier to people riding a bike and the report has highlighted a need to raise cycle safety awareness. We need to foster a culture of mutual respect between everyone sharing the road. Campaigns such Road Safety Commission’s ‘Share the Roads’ should be promoted widely to create an environment where we all look out for each other. Expanding bike education will also ensure that future generations have greater bike awareness”.