More evidence bikes are the way to go

Yesterday, the Australian Government released a report detailing the need for better options for walking, riding and access to public transport.

It highlighted a point that we have long been making at the City - investing in active transport is actually good for our economy.

The report shows that for each person who cycles 20 minutes to work and back, our economy benefits by $21.20.

Active transport reduces our health costs, eases the burden of congestion, cuts the costs of vehicles maintenance and saves on the need to build more roads.

Our plans for a 248km Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network have just been listed as a priority by Infrastructure Australia.

The network could cover 15 council areas and 164 suburbs, and its inclusion in Infrastructure Australia's list of priority projects is a step towards securing the$185 million in funding needed over eight years to get the job done.

A study by leading international consultancy AECOM forecast a 71 per cent increase in bike trips by 2026 if the 284 km network across 164 suburbs was built.

There are already twice as many Sydneysiders riding bikes for transport than the national average, and overall numbers have grown by more than 100 per cent in two years. But the numbers will stop growing if we can't finish the bike network.

We have nearly $6 million worth of contracts ready to go for the completion of the Kent Street Cycleway, which would provide access to the city's financial district, including Barangaroo, for thousands of people.

The project is waiting on approval from the NSW Government's Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee (CSTTC), which was created to provide coordination and certainty, but has only met once this year. Every month we hold off signing a contract for Kent Street, construction costs increase.

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