THE first comprehensive review of Western Australian cycling facilities in 16 years has prioritised the completion of the Principal Shared Path (PSP) network within 15 kilometres of the CBD, as well as new short-trip initiatives.
Transport Minister Troy Buswell announced the Western Australian Bicycle Network (WABN) Plan last week and said it was a response to the large take up in cycling across the state and would guide the development and implementation of cycling infrastructure over the next decade.
"Since the release of the 1996 Perth Bike Plan, the number of people cycling to work or for leisure has increased more than five-fold, with an estimated 300,000 cyclists per month taking to the roads and paths around Perth," Mr Buswell said.
"With Perth undergoing significant population growth, we expect the popularity of cycling will also increase and this plan aims to improve cycling infrastructure and support the demand for safe, off-road cycle routes."
The WABN Plan proposes a doubling of funding for metropolitan and regional bicycle network grants to local government, up from $1 million a year to $2 million for metropolitan and from $750,000 a year to $2 million for regional areas.
It also aims to complete the principal shared path network within 15 kilometres of the CBD in the next decade, with high priority projects including:
- Kwinana Freeway (Narrows Bridge to Mount Henry Bridge) - widening of the existing path at selected locations;
- Perth to Fremantle railway line - new path and grade separation from Grant Street to Fremantle;
- Glendalough to Balcatta along the Mitchell Freeway; and
- Completion of the Bassendean to Midland Station section of the Perth to Midland path.
"The completion of the principal shared path network will provide commuters with a safe and viable alternative to cars in areas that carry high volumes of commuters," the Minister said.
"New initiatives developed from community feedback, such as connecting schools and connecting rail/bus station programs, will provide community health benefits while also reduction congestion and parking problems."
The Western Australian Bicycle Network Plan is open for public comment until 17 June 17 and more information is available from <http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/wabn>.