Reporting hazards and other issues on roads and shared paths can be one of the easiest ways that you can help keep your local area bike-friendly. But with over 100 local governments and several state government agencies responsible for cycling infrastructure in WA, knowing who is the appropriate agency to report to can be tricky, so we have prepared a guide on how you can determine who best to contact and have the best chance of your hazard rectified.
Government agencies genuinely want to ensure that their infrastructure is safe and well maintained. Community feedback is vital to help government agencies keep cycling facilities safe and comfortable.
Some examples of hazards that should be reported are:
- Bumps or cracks in a path surface due to the encroachment of tree roots.
- Areas of path prone to flooding/pooling
- Broken glass and overhanging tree branches.
- Caltrop or doublegee plants, which can puncture bike tyres.
- Excessive sand or debris that requires sweeping
- Cars parked or roadwork signage placed on or across paths.
To report motorbikes, trail bikes and other motor vehicles (not parked) on shared paths click here
Being polite and respectful will help ensure that the bike riding community is viewed as helpful rather than unreasonable and despite your best effort, the hazard you have reported may not be that government agency’s responsibility and they may be more willing to help you to get this resolved.
If you are reporting a small maintenance issue (e.g. tree pruning, small pothole, sweeping) this may get resolved straight away, larger requests may require some patience. Larger requests that may be expensive to resolve and may take time to budget and plan. Allow a reasonable amount of time for a response (10 business days) before following up and choose only one hazard at a time (the most important one).
When submitting a report, provide as much information as you can so that the agency you are reporting to knows exactly what you are reporting and where it is. This will save you needing to answer follow up questions. For this reason, it is best to email your report so you can attach photos and a marked (google) map to give staff as much information they need to action your report.
Preparing a hazard report
Our recommendation is to email your report as this will allow you to attach the relevant information to make an efficient report and reduce the need for the local government to ask follow up questions.
What to include in your report:
- One hazard/issue at a time (start with the most important)
- Photos (some councils have attachment limits, so keep photos to under 10mb)
- Exact location (e.g. use your phone to get an exact GPS location or attach a marked aerial image from Google Maps)
- Time of day (if your reported hazard is time-dependent).
- Your contact details (so that the agency can give you a call and ask you for further details about the hazard and its exact location)
Keep a copy of your report so that if you need to send the report to a different agency you can easily copy and paste and resend.
TIP: For larger infrastructure requests, keep a copy of your report and bring it to your council’s next Bike Plan community engagement activities (these are usually run every 5 years but differ from council to council).
To find which local government you should contact
- Zoom and click on the below map at the location of the hazard and take note of the local government name and email address that appears.
Once you have emailed your report to the relevant local government, take note of the report number if one is provided (usually an auto-reply) and follow up if the hazard has not been resolved in a reasonable time (be fair).
What if your local government asks you to forward your report to Main Roads WA or the Public Transport Authority?
- To report a hazard to Main Roads WA
- To report a hazard to the Public Transport Authority
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
What if the local government hasn’t responded to my report or you are unsatisfied with the outcome?
If you have contacted the local government, and have followed up after 10 business days and you still haven’t received a response or you are unsatisfied with the response, please forward your correspondence/email chain to WestCycle to review and determine next steps email@example.com
To report motorbikes, trail bikes and other motor vehicles on shared paths
- Contact Police if the incident is occurring now and/or is causing danger – report the incident to the Police Assistance Centre on 131 444.
- If you are a reporting an incident that is no longer causing danger, please report to the relevant local government in the first instance. They may encourage you to also report to Crime Stoppers https://www.crimestopperswa.com.au/make-report/ so that Police are aware of the issue and can investigate.
- If this is a frequent occurrence, you may also like to inform the relevant local government area and WestCycle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
By making these reports you tell your local government that cycling is important in your community and you will also feel the satisfaction that you have played your part in improving cycling in your local area and the entire cycling community will benefit from your contribution.