Labor's $400m NSW plan to ‘end war on cycling’
LABOR has developed a plan that it claims will "end the war on cycling" in NSW, which includes allocating $412 million to improve cycling infrastructure.
If Labor wins the March 23 state election it vowed to use this money to get cars off the road and encourage more people to cycle and walk.
The $412 million would be used to improve infrastructure to make it cycling to work, school or just for fun a more viable option for NSW residents.
In a statement, the organisation blasted the NSW Liberals and Nationals for ignoring the needs of cyclists and doing little to stop the "war" raging against them.
"Thanks to the failure of the NSW Liberals and Nationals to invest in cycling infrastructure, cycling participation rates have declined across NSW and are now lower than they were in 2011," the statement read.
Labor claimed it would work closely with local councils to figure out how best to upgrade their cycling and pedestrian facilities, particularly near stations and other public amenities.
NSW Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay blamed the Liberals and Nations for causing cycling rates to "plummet" across the state.
"The NSW Liberals and Nationals declared war on cyclists across NSW under former Roads Minister Duncan Gay," Ms McKay said.
"A Labor Government will end the war on cycling in this state, and give cyclists the infrastructure and respect they have been wanting for eight long years."
Along with fewer cars on the road, Ms McKay also claimed more cycleways would lead to less pollution, lower emissions and a boost to public health and wellbeing.
There are numerous studies supporting Ms McKay's position on the benefits of building additional "active transport" infrastructure.
Other reports, however, show that while increasing cycleways and footpaths is great for city residents, there is a lesser impact in outer suburban, regional and rural areas where greater distances prohibit cycling and walking as a mode of transport.
The Australian government's 2013 Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport ministerial statement acknowledged walking is rarely viable for distances greater than two kilometres, or 20 minutes, largely limiting it to being a method of transport for inner city populations.
However, inner city areas are likely to be inaccessible or inconvenient for cars due to parking and congestion issues, meaning people are more inclined to commute by foot.
"Supporting cycling and pedestrian infrastructure means less cars on the road, reduced emissions and air pollution, and has a proven impact on public health and wellbeing," Ms McKay said.