WestCycle, the peak body for cycling in Western Australia, has welcomed the release of the Final Western Australian Bicycle Network Plan 2014 – 2021 (WABN). Launched by new Transport Minister, the Hon Dean Nalder MLA, the plan will guide the expansion of metropolitan and regional cycling facilities in WA over the next 7 years. The plan also commits $47.1 million to cycling infrastructure projects over the next 3 years. Speaking at the launch, WestCycle Chief Executive, Clint Shaw welcomed the plan.
“While I haven’t seen the detail, what excites me the most is that the Minister has decided to release the plan within 2 weeks of becoming Transport Minister.” Mr Shaw said.
“If you look at all the cities from around the world that have transformed themselves into cycling cities, they’ve all shared a couple of things in common. They’ve all had a long-term strategy to prioritise cycling and they’ve also had political leadership. The
fact that the Minister is releasing the plan so soon after becoming Transport Minister speaks volumes in my mind.” Mr Shaw said.
Mr Shaw said the plan would help to create a safer cycling environment and open up cycling to everyone, not just those that are fit and confident. “We know that a key barrier to cycling for many people is the issue of safety. Everyone wants to see more being done to make the cycling environment safer.” Mr Shaw said.
“The roll-out of this plan will help make this happen, which will in-turn drive higher participation,” he added.
Currently 22%, or 405,000 Western Australians ride a bike every week. In 2013, there was a 16.4% increase in bicycle movements along cycle paths near the Perth CBD compared to the previous year.
Priority infrastructure projects outlined in the plan to be implemented over the next 3 years include new sections of PSP between Bassendean Station and Success Hill, between Erindale Road and Balcatta Road and between Loch Street and Shenton Park