Advocacy Press releases

Queensland Government invest $315 million in bikeways

The Queensland Government has committed $315 millon over the coming four years to expand the network of bikeways and walking paths. Bicycle Queensland applauds this investment, which overshadows the recent announcement of a $100 million Active Transport Fund.

The state government is aiming to encourage more Queenslanders to leave their cars at home, however the $315 million investment is still a fraction of the eye-watering $34.7 billion that is registered in the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) following the state budget announcment. So while $315 million seems like a lot, and it is, it’s not even 1% of the total investment in transport. The United Nations suggest 20% of transport infrastructure funding should go towards active transport, but Queensland is falling well short.

‘Every person who rides a bike or walks to work, school, to socialise or to go to the shops means less traffic and less pollution, and can also mean savings on transport costs,’ stated Transport and Main Roads Minister Bart Mellish. ‘It’s not only cheaper than using a car but it’s much better for your health and we think Queenslanders deserve world class active transport facilities.’

The Queensland government state that for every dollar invested in a bikeway, nearly five dollars are returned in economic benefits to Queensland – however the cost to benefit ratio for many built motorways is as low as 0.24, compared to close to 5.0 for bikeways.

Some other projects of note within this funding include:
– $41.5 million for the Cairns Southern Access Cycleway (co-funded with the federal government)
– $36.1 milion velobridge over Birdwood Road on the Veloway 1 in Greenslopes
– $9.4 million towards the second stage of the New England Highway Bikeway between Highfields and Toowoomba
– $10.4 million for improvements to active transport on Moggil oad from the Centenary Motorway to Chapel Hill Road.
– $22.5 million to fill gaps on the Riverwalk at Kangaroo Point – which makes an unbroken link between Kangaroo Point and Mowbray Park
– $9.6 million to develop a network of bike-friendly streets in South Brisbane, Highgate Hill and West End.

‘Bicycle Queensland members and the 800,000 Queenslanders who regularly ride a bike all welcome this announcement from the Minister,’ said Andrew Demack, Bicycle Queensland’s Director of Advocacy. ‘Building bikeways is great value for money for Queensland towns and cities, and we’re keen to see connected, high-quality bikeways built that give people the chance to get to their destinations safely while building their fitness and reducing congestion and carbon emissions.’


Toowoomba creates Queensland’s first Safe Active Street

On Friday June 21, 2024, Toowoomba Regional Council opened Queensland’s first Safe Active Street on Pierce Street in Toowoomba. Not just a first for Queensland, this was a first for the whole eastern seaboard of Australia. A Safe Active Street prioritises cycling, with a speed limit of 30km/h. Cars need to yield to cyclists, with painted lanes making all road users aware of the changed conditions.

Dropping the speed limit to 30km/h reduces the severity of any collisions between road users (no matter the modality) but it also helps make more bike riders feel safer on said street. Piercee Street in Toowoomba is a connector on the West Creek Cycleway, and amending the street into a Safe Active Street was a more cost-effective solution than creating a separated bikeway to create the connection. As Pierce Street ends in a quiet cul-de-sac there will be minimal impact on drivers of vehicles, but enhanced safety for those on bikes.

What does a Safe Active Street mean?

  • The speed limit is 30km/h. This applies to all road users.
  • People riding bikes are to ride near the centre of the shared travel lane (the terracotta painted zone).
  • People driving cars are to maintain 30km/h or less behind the person on a bike until safe to overtake, ensuring a distance of one metre from the rider. You are allowed to drive over the outside lines of the terracotta zone to overtake safely or to pass an oncoming vehicle.
  • Always give way to oncoming traffic and drive or ride in a safe and courteous manner.

Brian McKay, Senior Transport Planner at Toowoomba Regional Council, explained the concept of a Safe Active Street, and why they can be an important part of transport networks – and also affect change.

‘A Safe Active Street is something that is common throughout a lot of countries in Europe. Basically it is a street where everyone shares the same space. It has a lower speed environment… and we all know that 30km/h is that critical speed limit for safety. Bike riders have priority on this street and car drivers will have to sit behind a cyclist until they’re safe to move past.’

Having looked at various options to solve this missing link on the West Creek Cycleway, this was deemed the best fit by council.

‘We have a very car dominated road network in Queensland and in Australia,’ added McKay. ‘So all the time we can get these incremental changes to show people that there is a different kind of behaviour that is appropriate and safe for all users, then it is a great outcome for all.’


New Veloway bridge over O’Keefe street

Transport and Main Roads (TMR) recently opened a new bridge on the Veloway. removing a dangerous intersection on this critical piece of cylcling infrastructure. The bridge was opened by the Hon Bart Mellish, alongside Mark Bailey, Joe Kelly and other dignitaries.

Andrew Demack, our Director of Advocacy, was at the bridge opening and was enthusiastic about the impacts it will have.

‘This bridge takes out a really dangerous crossing on O’Keefe street and the crossing with Carl street. Morning peak hour on Carl street was horrendous, and this new bridge takes all of that out.’

Instead, when you approach the city you now come in on a long loop under the main road, with a gentle gradient taking you onto the bridge and along the pre-existing parts of the V1 as you head north to the city.

‘East-west also has a connection, so if you are coming along from the Princess Alexandra Hospital you can come in from the northern side of the road, which you couldn’t in earlier designs. I’m so glad that the Queensland state government and TMR allowed that link to be part of the overall project. Of course, the next missing link is at Birdwood road, but they are working on a bridge for that as well.’

The Miles Government is investing a total of $315 million over the next four years, aiming to expand the cycling and walking paths in Queensland. This is a part of the $37.4 billion Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program 2024-25 to 2027-28. Projects included in this investment include the velobridge in Greenslopes and a Riverwalk expandsion at Kangaroo Point.

‘Every person who rides a bike or walks to work, school, to socialise or to go to the shops means less traffic and less pollution, and can also mean savings on transport costs,’ explained Minister Mellish. ‘It’s not only cheaper than using a car but it’s much better for your health and we think Queenslanders deserve world class active transport facilities.’

This new bridge represents an investment of $22.03 million, and we’re certain it has improved efficiency of the network and the safety for all users.


Updates from Velo-City conference in Ghent

The world of cycling advocacy and active transport have descended on Ghent, Belgium this week. This university town is known as the home for a number of professional cyclists, the base for the Gent-Wevelgem semi-classic, and of course the Gent 6-day track race. And it’s in that short, tight and historic velodrome where the conference is taking place. This week the Derny Racing and Euro Disco is replaced instead by keynote speakers, handshaking, networking and elevator music. Bicycle Queensland’s CEO Alton Twine is at the Velo-City conference to meet with his contemporaries, and bring back global insights and learnings to improve bike riding and active transport in Queensland.

Ok, there was still a bike race for the opening ceremony.

‘Day 1 of the Velo-City conference here in Ghent underscored just how strong the global cycling movement is and how great it is to be part of this. Velo-City 2024 is the largest such conference held to date, with 1650 cycling practitioners from all over the world coming together to share their experiences and discuss what works to create more cycle friendly communities.’

‘The opening keynote address was by the ex-Transport Commissioner for New York, Janette Sadik-Khan . The changes that this amazing transport practitioner has brought to the Big Apple is nothing short of amazing, transforming key places to become bicycle and human-friendly. In a revealing presentation, Ms Sadik-Khan illustrated how a great many cities across the globe are embracing cycling and making decisions in favour of better infrastructure and programs. It’s no easy feat as there is still plenty of “bikelash” driven by those not willing to listen to their communities or to believe the data from the transformation that occurs when, as she says, you put people first.’ 

‘Of particular note today has been the story of transformation in Paris, with more people now riding than driving. There have been many factors in this success, driven by the need to keep Paris moving during the forthcoming Olympics, but also creating a lasting by legacy for the City. Progressive installation of high quality bike lanes in the City over the last 25 years is a key to their success, with cycling rates jumping markedly since 2019 on the back of initiatives such as allowing contra flow bike lanes in one-way streets and widening bike lanes to safely accommodate more cyclists.’

‘There have also been some interesting points on how to leverage more funding from the private sector for bike programs, with great examples from across the world.’ 

‘Cities like Ghent have transformed their transport systems in recent times by adopting policies that favour active transport, reducing congestion, improving safety for all road users and in the process building more liveable communities. There is a lot to be learned here.’


Bicycle Queensland partners with We Ride for National Urban Policy feedback

Bicycle Queensland welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of a $100 million Active Transport Fund, but BQ and the other bike advocacy groups have met and assert that a more substantial commitment is needed to create meaningful change. The $100 million is a step in the right direction, but insufficient for any impact nationwide.

Working with other state bodies, Bicycle Queensland are preparing a submission to highlight our key concerns. These revolve around:

– a lack of specific deliverables and a framework for delivery.
– a need to scale up investment for meaningful impact.
– recognition of e-bikes and e-scooters as light EVs, as part of a lower emissions solution.
– promotion of, and investment in active transport networks, including strategic cycling networks in all major cities.

Bicycle Queensland and the other state bodies appreciate the government’s efforts to promote active travel through the net-zero roadmap, however we urge a more ambitious and holistic approach so Australia can realise the full potential of active travel. We will be working on our submission, but you can read the details about the policy and have provide your own feedback via the portal right now.


The North Brisbane Bikeway’s missing link is coming

Bicycle Queensland was pleased to take the opportunity to participate in Brisbane City Council’s community working group for the next and final stage of the North Brisbane Bikeway: between Price Street to Kedron Brook.

As the working group has completed its work, we have written to the Chair of Transport for BCC, Cr Ryan Murphy, urging Council to complete this vital project.

This 500 metre section of bikeway will unlock a direct connection from Sandgate and even Redcliffe, all the way to Brisbane’s CBD. As a missing link which makes a difference to every bike rider, e-bike rider and e-scooter rider on the north side of Brisbane, it is hard to understate the significance of the NBB project.

North Brisbane Bikeway

We’ve been working closely with Brisbane North Bicycle Users Group as we look for the best way to help BCC see that even with some local opposition, this project is one which benefits almost everyone, through reducing congestion and enabling safe active transport.