WEST Australian Transport Minister Dean Nalder last month announced the release of the WA Bicycle Network Plan 2014-2031 (WABN), which aims to cater for the expansion of the state's cycling facilities and growing cycling requirements over the next two decades.
The plan provides a blueprint for metropolitan and regional cycling facilities to encourage and support bicycle trips, with a focus on medium to long-term planning for cycling facilities in large regional cities and towns and the provision of principal shared paths along freeways and railway lines.
"The number of people cycling to work and for leisure in Perth has increased more than fivefold over the past 15 years and there has also been a 14 per cent growth in cycling on paths around the CBD over the past year," Mr Nalder said.
"The bike network plan will encourage and support this increase in cycling and guide the delivery of cycling infrastructure to meet the growing need for convenient and safe cycling routes and end-of-trip facilities."
The Minister said there would be a continued focus on building principal shared paths (PSP) in the Perth area, prioritising those along freeways and railway lines and those within a 15 kilometre radius of the CBD.
A thorough review of the Local Bicycle Routes network connecting activity centres would also be undertaken, according to the Minister.
"In regional areas, the focus will be on medium to long-term planning for cycling facilities supporting the growth plans of cities and major towns, complemented by the annual grants programs to local government," Mr Nalder said.
The Minister said the WABN Plan includes initiatives to provide a safe and sustainable cycling network linking into schools and train stations.
"Initiatives such as the Connecting Schools and Connecting Stations programs are already under way and target regular short trips to deliver strong benefits through improving the health of our community," he said.
"The WABN Plan aims to make WA a place where cycling is safe, connected, convenient and a widely accepted form of transport."
The WABN Plan 2014-2031 has been developed as a result of feedback received during the review of the draft Western Australian Bicycle Network Plan, which was released for public comment in 2012.