Federal Parliamentarians have today heard about the successful investments made nationally in bicycle infrastructure as part of the COVID response.
At the Parliamentary Friends of Cycling event in Canberra this morning, MPs and Senators heard that people are this new infrastructure in large numbers, and for the Sydney bike lanes, at least 2.5 times more jobs were created per dollar than other transport investments.
In speaking about the ‘COVID dividend’ of these investments, both Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck, and Shadow Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Andrew Giles MP, spoke of the importance of active transport for health, transport and mobility.
Introduced by the Parliamentary Friends of Cycling, experts Sara Stace, former Associate Director Walking and Cycling Strategy at Transport for NSW and Mark Ames, General Manager Connect Macquarie Park and North Ryde, provided the data and experience from an unprecedented year of change during the pandemic.
· Governments around Australia have rapidly invested in pop up bike infrastructure, responding to the skyrocketing numbers of people riding.
· In Sydney, investment in the first 8.3km of ‘pop-up’ bike lanes has been an overwhelming success with 500,000 people using them since completion and 800,000 expected in 1st 12 months.
· The Heidelberg Road pop-up lanes in Melbourne have had 70,000 trips since opening and a 30% increase in commuting on week-days.
· At Macquarie Park, due to a reluctance of users to use public transport, we have seen a 7% increase in driving to work post covid, or an extra 7000 cars per day. We are investing in state-of-the-art riding facilities, programs and incentives, but need the connected bike network to allow staff to ride to work.
· The big increases in cycling were most pronounced among those new to cycling.
The information released today illustrated the value of investment in bike infrastructure to support riders, and that the business case provides unparalleled economic and transport benefits.
The Parliamentary Friends of Cycling is a non-partisan federal forum for Parliamentarians to meet and interact with riding and active transport issues and benefits, led by co-convenors Mr Dave Sharma MP, Member for Wentworth, Hon. Dr Andrew Leigh, Member for Fenner and Dr Helen Haines, Member for Indi.