THE West Australian Government will allocate $28 million to improve cycling infrastructure in its upcoming 2012-13 State Budget
Transport Minister Troy Buswell and Treasurer Christian Porter last week announced the additional funding would be used to improve Perth's principal shared path network within a 15 kilometre radius of the Perth CBD and increase bicycle network grants across the State.
Mr Buswell said the funding demonstrates the government's commitment to the implementation of the Western Australian Bicycle Network Plan, which was in March this year.
"With an estimated 300,000 cycling trips a month in the Perth metropolitan area alone, this funding will enable us to deliver targeted projects to address infrastructure gaps and provide safe routes for the many West Australians who cycle," Mr Buswell said.
According to Mr Buswell, the priority principal shared paths to be built with the additional Budget funding include the Midland rail line from Bassendean Station to Midland Station; the Fremantle rail line from Shenton Park Station to Loch Street Station and from Grant Street Station to Marine Parade; and sections of the Mitchell Freeway from Glendalough Station to Reid Highway.
"Principal shared paths are vital for cycling activity due to their versatility. Although the paths are primarily used for longer trips they are also suitable for less experienced cyclists on shorter trips, as well as pedestrians," the Minister said.
"This funding boost will enable relatively large sections of principal shared paths to be constructed, whereas this has previously been done on a kilometre by kilometre basis."
The Minister said the additional Budget funding would also mean the funding available for Perth Bicycle Network grants would double from $2 million to $4 million over two years, and increase Regional Bicycle Network grants to $1.5 million in 2012-13 and to $2 million in 2013-14.
"This additional grant funding will benefit metropolitan and regional local governments to develop their local cycling infrastructure projects," he said.
The Treasurer said 2012-13 State Budget funding would supplement the $2.66 million the State Government already spent annually on cycling, and was part of the $105 million Budget allocation for initiatives to address traffic congestion in and around the CBD.