The current NSW Government has failed to provide proper leadership and resources to support cycling and to also deal with the associated transport, health and planning issues – we tell you why:
Perhaps the NSW Government’s greatest failure when it comes to supporting cycling participation is that it has made no reasonable effort to meet its own commitments.
In 2011, to great fanfare, the new NSW Government published “NSW 2021: A Plan to Make NSW Number One”, it “sets the Government’s agenda for change in NSW”. Carefully crafted by the Department of Premier it set out goals the government would pursue and accomplish to restore our faith in responsible government.
A significant goal when it came to transport was Goal 8: Increasing rates of walking and cycling by 2016. The goal for cycling appeared modest at the time – doubling cycling mode share over 5 years. It is now well off target with no visible attempt to do anything about it.
Worse, when the ACP contacted regional councils about how they are looking to achieve the target we have found out they are mostly unaware of the goal, don’t have any plans in place and have never even been contacted by the Government in working with them on it.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Transport has seen fit to cut next year’s budget allocation to cycling and walking infrastructure and the Roads Minister appears to be completely out of range on the issue.
Participation rates will follow changes on the ground. We cannot rely on an occasional ride or Ride2School campaign if the pieces are not in place to sustain it.
This is as much a political issue as a proper governance and lack of leadership issue. When government spend more effort publishing plans than making any attempt to realise them, there is something seriously wrong.
Let’s put the focus back on achievement and not hype… please vote ACP #1 in the election on Saturday.