CYCLIST SAFETY: Ahead of the 2019 state election, Labor is offering a $412 million carrot to build cyclepaths and other bicycle infrastructure to entice people away from four wheels to two.
CYCLIST SAFETY: Ahead of the 2019 state election, Labor is offering a $412 million carrot to build cyclepaths and other bicycle infrastructure to entice people away from four wheels to two. Supplied

Labor vows to end 'war on cyclists'

A BOLD $412 million offer by Labor to end the war on cyclists in New South Wales was announced this morning as the party promised to encourage more people to abandon four wheels for two.

Labour said it will encourage more people to bike and walk by boosting spending on cycleways and pedestrian links to the tune of $412 million over the next four years if it wins the state election next month.

Labor's transport spokeswoman, Jodi McKay, said if elected, Labor would invest the money, into cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as rail trails in regional NSW, in its first term of government.

"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 well-being," she said.

"Unfortunately, the current system pits cyclists against motorists."

Ms McKay accused the current state government of "declaring a war on cyclists."

She said the Labor government will reinvigorate Active Transport NSW as the Active Transport Advocate to champion connecting cycling infrastructure in rural and regional councils.

"It's all about encouraging a positive cycling environment," she said.

"We also see cycling paths including rail trails such as in the Northern Rivers are something which should be absolutely explored."

While a 2017 survey showed cycling was on the wane in regional NSW, the Northern Rivers appears to be an exception including the formation of the Ballina Bicycle Club.

She said Labor will also create a Ride to School program.

"This aims to help schools and local councils design dedicated bike and pedestrian routes to schools," she said.

"And provide funding for cycle paths, bike racks, secure storage sheds, and education programs to give school students and their parents greater skills and confidence in riding to school.

Ms McKay said she owned and rode a bicycle.

"I ride a bike, not often, not to get somewhere but for pleasure and exercise," she said.

But a spokeswoman for the NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said his government is committed to providing sustainable transport options and allocated over $250 million to cycling and walking projects in the past five years.



Looting claims rife as police investigate ‘suspicious’ cars

premium_icon Looting claims rife as police investigate ‘suspicious’ cars

Police have responded to rumours that looters have been staking out evacuated...

Bill passes paving way for tougher protest penalties

premium_icon Bill passes paving way for tougher protest penalties

The new penalties will be in force by 2020.