The cycling policies of the three major parties have come under scrutiny after the release of a review by Pedal Power ACT, the largest cycling advocacy organisation in the ACT region.
“I’m happy to see that Labor and the Greens have recognised the importance of the bike-riding vote in the ACT, but they need to show stronger leadership and action on cycling issues and infrastructure while in office as well as in the lead-up to an election,” Pedal Power ACT CEO John Armstrong said this week.
Armstrong acknowledged that ACT Labor and the ACT Greens have some credible policies relating to cycling infrastructure – most notably the Greens’ proposed $60 million investment over four years – but have a track record of having big ideas with very little capacity to implement those ideas in Government.
“My concern is that Labor is merely doing the bare minimum to avoid political flak when it comes to cycling issues and infrastructure,” he said.
The organisation called for recognition that cycling represents more than simply transport for the ACT region, but also tourism, recreation and lifestyle, with all the economic, health and social benefits that brings.
And while the cycling-related policies of Labor and the Greens were given a passing grade by Pedal Power, the lack of official policies around cycling and active transport from the Canberra Liberals was a glaring omission.*
“I look forward to the announcement of some official cycling policies from the Canberra Liberals,” said Armstrong.
Canberra Liberals spokesperson Alistair Coe gave a good showing at the Pedal Power ACT 2016 Election Forum in late September. He spoke eloquently on cycling issues, including the need for education for both motorists and bike riders about sharing the road, and the economic benefits of bringing elite cycling events to the ACT.
During the forum Armstrong voiced scepticism that the Liberals would deliver anything more than words for bike riders, and just over a week out from polling day it seems he was correct.
You can view the Pedal Power ACT 2016 Election Review here.
* The RiotACT understands the Liberals will make an announcement on cycling policy in coming days.