Canberra’s leading cycling advocacy group is leading a collective push to fast-track funding for the government’s active transport draft plan and future routes.
Pedal Power ACT has lodged a petition with more than 1200 signatures from more than a dozen community organisations from a range of sectors, calling for more investment to be committed sooner to deliver more cycling and shared footpaths across the Territory.
Some of the groups on board with the petition include The ACT Council of Social Services, The Public Transport Association of Canberra, Greater Canberra, and the Fyshwick Business Association among others.
The community groups want the government’s draft active transport infrastructure plan to be rolled out in full, after it was released late last year.
The draft plan consist of 60 to 80 additional cycling and shared pedestrian paths across the Territory, including links to public amenities such as shops, schools, and medical centres.
However, Pedal Power claims the strategy did not have any plans for how the routes would be implemented and no funding attached to it.
The group’s executive director Simon Copland says current funding arrangements will see the routes built in a longer time-frame than they otherwise could be.
Mr Copland says creating the planned pathways would cost the government less than if they were delivered at a slower pace.
“We expect it would take decades, possibly multiple decades for that plan to be built and that’s just not good enough,” Mr Copland says.
“We wouldn’t have similar plans for our road infrastructure to take decades to see good road infrastructure in the city and we don’t think that’s fair for that to be the case for cycling and path infrastructure either.”
The ACT Greens have also supported Pedal Power’s calls for more funding for active transport.