Lake Macquarie sets up for cycling environment

By Lilia Guan

New South Wales-based Lake Macquarie has released its Draft Cycling Strategy, a plan to make cycling an easy, safe and attractive choice of transport for residents. 
The strategy outlines the infrastructure needed to ensure a safer and more comfortable cycling environment and the social initiatives that will encourage more people to cycle.
Lake Macquarie council’s manager asset management, Glen Walker, told Government News the area needs a cycling strategy because its facing increasing problems and costs related to traffic congestion, accidents and energy consumption. 
"Cycling helps address these problems and also provides great health, social, financial, and environmental benefits to the community.”
The draft strategy was developed after an online survey and focus group workshops were held to find out why more residents don’t ride and what changes would encourage them to take up cycling.
Mr Walker said the cycling strategy will look at everything from cycling facilities; on road cycleway; combining with the road network shares cycle ways with pedestrians.
“The strategy also looks at non traditional engineering plans like campaigning to raise awareness about cyclists being legitimate road users; educational training; how to use bike tracks – targeted at children, families and schools; and a whole range of public safety issues,” he said.
The council is starting cycle strategy off with information stalls across the city during February.
“Then we will look at suggested strategies and improvements based on input and then have them prioritised based in terms of construction,” Mr Walker said.
“Then it goes back to the council who will look at it to do a final plan. This is a long term strategy and we are looking at 10 years plus before the strategy goes into construction.
“This isn’t a case of let’s go and spend money. There’s planning and funding – we are seeking funds from other levels of government.”

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