Posted on 04. May, 2012 in News
The Baillieu Government has put the safety of Victorian cyclists at risk by failing to commit one additional dollar to a major bicycle infrastructure program in this year’s State Budget, Shadow Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said today.
The Government has failed to provide the VicRoads Bicycle Program any new funding in this year’s State Budget after years of record investment by the previous Labor Government.
“This is a horror budget for Victorian bicycle riders,” Mr Donnellan said.
“There is doubt that bicycle safety improvement projects will be delivered by the Baillieu Government.
“This means communities may miss out on much-needed funding for new bicycle lanes, intersection upgrades and bike trails. “This is a major kick in the guts to the hundreds of thousands of families and individuals who cycle to work, school, train stations, for recreation and exercise.
“Numerous studies have shown that the investment in bike safety improvements reduces the risk of injury and death. Roads Minister Terry Mulder must explain why the Government has failed to provide one new dollar to this program and why the safety of cycling families is not a priority for the Baillieu Government.
“If the Baillieu Government cared about families it would reinstate funding to improve bicycling infrastructure.”
Numerous bicycle safety projects throughout Victoria – many part completed – may now come to a standstill. Projects such as the Federation Trail connecting Werribee to Altona, Darebin Creek and Yarra bike trails as well as numerous road safety upgrades to Geelong and Surf Coast are now at risk and Mr Donnellan called on the Minister to guarantee they will be completed.
“The Priority Hazard Road Works report, undertaken by the Bicycle Infrastructure Group, which comprised VicRoads, Geelong and Surf Coast councils and Bike Safe, identified $14 million worth of projects in the Geelong region, which are now at risk and may now not proceed,” he said.
“Labor understood the importance of cycling to Victorians and that is why we had a $115 million Victorian Cycling Strategy.”