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Advocacy

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.

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Advocacy

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.

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Advocacy

Bicycle Queensland welcomes reduced public transport costs

Bicycle Queensland welcomes the announcement that Queenslanders will pay just 50c for each trip on a train, bus, ferry or light rail for 6 months from August 5, 2024. This is a great incentive to get more people to adopt public transport for more of their travel.

Making public transportation more affordable is a step in the right direction toward reducing congestion and promoting sustainable travel options. As advocates for active transport, particularly cycling, we feel it’s important to address some key areas in support of this initiative, to ensure that all commuters, including cyclists, can benefit fully from these changes.

Cycling and micromobility has a very real role in supporting more public transport trips, particularly on rail trips where the journey to and from stations needs to be considered as part of the “door to door” customer experience. Many park and ride facilities on the rail network are already full or close to capacity, so the journey to and from the station by bike needs to become a focus.

Room for bikes on trains

Currently there is limited space for bicycles on trains, for those who need to ride at each end of a rail journey. To encourage multi-modal trips where heavy or light rail doesn’t start or finish exactly where someone needs to go, bikes really help create a missing link. But if there isn’t room on trains for a bike to be stored, fewer people will be able to capitalise on the incentive.

Bike parking at stations

There is limited availability of bike parking at train stations. As more people turn to multi-modal transportation, it’s essential to prioritise secure bicycle parking facilities. By providing convenient and safe places to store bikes, we can encourage more people to choose cycling as a mode of transport for their daily commute.

Missing links in active transport networks

Seamless connections between public transport and active transport infrastructure are key. Integrating cycling routes with bus and train networks through well-planned infrastructure projects can significantly enhance the accessibility and attractiveness of multi-modal transportation options. While some routes have excellent integration, including signage, separated bike ways and secure bike parking – other areas need a lot more attention.

Capacity and facilities at train stations

Access to rail station platforms needs to be considered, looking at their use for those with luggage, the elderly, people with a disability, or those taking a bike or scooter to their final journey.

Bicycle Queensland welcomes the reduction in public transport fares,  and we urge policymakers to address the above concerns to ensure that bike riders and other public transport users can fully benefit from these changes.

By prioritising investments in active transport infrastructure and addressing these issues, we can create a more sustainable and inclusive transportation system for all Queenslanders – something that is imperative with the population growth in Queensland, and the major events coming to our state in the future.

By joining Bicycle Queensland, you can get excellent insurance coverage while riding a bike or e-scooter, receive member benefits and helps the advocacy work we do. Learn more here.

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Advocacy

Bicycle Queensland and We Ride’s submission to the Climate Change Authority

On May 22, 2024 We Ride submitted a crucial proposal to the Climate Change Authority, co-authored with Bicycle Queensland and other state advocacy bodies. Our aim is clear: to ensure that the vital role of active transport, including bicycles, e-bikes, and e-scooters, is recognised and prioritised in discussions surrounding climate action in Australia.

“Bicycle Queensland is proud to be part of this multi-jurisdictional approach to recognising the vital role that cycling plays in helping to decarbonise our transport sector.” said Alton Twine, CEO of Bicycle Queensland. “Its not just about a transition to EV cars – Climate Change policy needs to consider the significant  potential to reduce emissions that active transport modes can play if appropriate investment is made by government to support meaningful mode shift in Australian Cities.”

“Everyone who rides a bike for their daily transport and recreational purposes is contributing to a cleaner, greener and healthier planet. If Australia is to achieve its emissions targets, every sector needs to help and cycling needs to be formally considered as part of this.”

At the heart of our concern lies the omission of active transport in the Climate Change Authority’s proposal. With the urgent need to transition towards low-emission alternatives, promoting the use of bicycles and small electric vehicles emerges as a readily accessible, equitable, and affordable solution.

Currently, Australia’s investment in active transport infrastructure lags far behind international recommendations, constituting a mere 2% of expenditure compared to the suggested 20% outlined by the United Nations. This discrepancy underscores the pressing need for increased support and funding in this area.

Bicycles, e-bikes and e-scooters offer a swift transition towards sustainable transportation, particularly for short trips. By prioritising incentives and infrastructure for these modes of transport, we can avoid exacerbating emissions through the rapid uptake of electric cars and the subsequent need for extensive infrastructure updates around EV charging.

As highlighted in We Ride’s submission, there is a strong public interest in active transport. However, concerns about safety persist, with two-thirds of individuals surveyed expressing reservations about the suitability of current infrastructure designed primarily for internal combustion vehicles.

We fully endorse the points raised by We Ride, including the health benefits and economic advantages associated with widespread adoption of active transport networks. In preparation for the upcoming state election in October, Bicycle Queensland urges our members to engage with local representatives to understand their stance on active transport.

Together, let’s pedal towards a greener, healthier future!

Find out more about Bicycle Queensland membership here.

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Press releases

$100 million Active Transport Fund announced

Bicycle Queensland welcomes the announcement by the Australian Government of its commitment to invest in active transport infrastructure, fostering more liveable, active, and connected cities and regional centres nationwide.

Catherine King, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, announced $100 million to establish a ground breaking national Active Transport Fund. This fund aims to enhance and develop new bicycle and pedestrian pathways, promoting zero-emission travel, ensuring safer routes for cyclists and pedestrians, and fostering active and vibrant communities.

“The creation of the national Active Transport Fund marks a significant step towards building sustainable and accessible transportation options across Australia,” said Alton Twine, CEO at Bicycle Queensland. “We applaud the government’s recognition of the importance of active transport in promoting social connection, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and creating vibrant urban and regional environments. Bicycle Queensland commends the government for prioritising investments in infrastructure that enable individuals to commute to school, work, and local services safely and sustainably.”

Bicycle Queensland Queen's Wharf separated path

The program guidelines for the Active Transport Fund will be collaboratively developed in consultation with states and territories. These guidelines are set to be unveiled to the public before the fund’s anticipated commencement on July 1, 2025.

Minister King emphasised the government’s commitment to creating thriving communities across urban and regional Australia.

“We want communities to thrive whether they be in cities or in the regions,” stated Minister King. “We are investing to build economic opportunity and also the opportunity for people to enjoy the spaces and places they live in, building connection and improving safety.”

“It’s great to see the federal government on board with providing transport for all users,” stated Andrew Demack, Bicycle Queensland’s Director of Advocacy. “Funding to grow and maintain an active transport network has been missing at both a federal level, and this is a fantastic first step by the government towards progressive transport investment.”

Bicycle Queensland looks forward to collaborating with the Albanese Government and stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation of the national Active Transport Fund, advancing the vision of healthier, more connected, and sustainable communities nationwide.

Learn more about what we do at Bicycle Queensland here – or sign up to receive all the member benefits!

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Uncategorised

Interview with Mary Doolan Co-convenor Brisbane CBD BUG

Challenges for women cyclists:
  • Safety concerns: Women are generally more risk-averse than men and often cite safety as the main reason for not cycling, especially on roads.
  • Lack of infrastructure: Existing infrastructure may not cater to the needs of commuting cyclists, and there’s a gap in safe and connected routes.
  • Limited representation: BUGs and other cycling advocacy groups are mostly male-dominated, making it harder for women’s voices and needs to be heard.
  • Knowledge gap: Many people, including cyclists who are experienced in forms of riding other than road riding, may lack basic knowledge about safe riding practices and group riding etiquette.
Mary Doolan’s suggestions
  • The importance of women’s involvement in BUGs and advocacy to address safety concerns and promote cycling for all.
  • The need for better education and outreach programs to equip cyclists with necessary skills and knowledge.
  • Strategies like social media sharing, one-on-one mentoring, and addressing fundamental knowledge gaps to attract more women to ride.

See the City Differently: Brisbane’s Women Cyclists Pedal for a Vision We All Need

A conversation with Mary Doolan, Co-convenor Brisbane CBD BUG

Forget the roar of engines, listen instead to the quiet hum gaining momentum on Brisbane’s streets. It’s the sound of two wheels, women cyclists rising above the urban din. They want to reshape the city through their unique perspective, creating a bike culture that’s safe, inclusive, and reflects their needs.

Research shows that generally, the male perspective is evident in decision making re cycling infrastructure design, and Mary thinks this needs to be evened out. The road ahead mirrors Brisbane’s hilly terrain – challenging and demanding a different perspective. A unique perspective that women cyclists have to offer.

Safety concerns loom large. “There have been times,” Mary admits, her voice softening, “when I felt vulnerable, threatened .The lack of dedicated infrastructure and the car-centric culture can be daunting.” This sentiment echoes throughout the female bike riding community, creating a knowledge gap and a palpable hesitancy from women to embrace bike riding.

Mary embodies the spirit of a much wanted change. “We need a shift in the default position,” she declares, her voice firm. “Instead of automatically reaching for the keys, we should ask, ‘can I bike there?’ ‘But this requires more than individual choices. ‘We need active policies that prioritise safe cycling infrastructure designed with women in mind, and empower our female voices in decision-making bodies.”

We asked Mary what would she say to a captive room of government leaders – from the Premier to regional councillors?“There’s a lot of talk about congestion busting. When it comes to the use of transport and driving, the best way to bust congestion is actually to take cars off the road. There’s a whole heap of policies that should be in place that could do that. And one of those policies would be to get people out of cars, and onto other forms of transport, including bike riding. It also has the flow on effect of improving people’s health. I mean, it has a positive impact on health budgets. It has a positive effect on the environment. And it also is just one of those things that really helps connect communities. When you’re riding your bike, you can actually say hi to people, and stop and chat and you know, go for coffee and support businesses. You can’t do that, generally in a car. 

Then I’d like you all, to perhaps get together and come up with an active policy which has a stated aim of changing people’s default positions, instead of getting in a car, to start using something else, using an active transport method to get around.”

We’d like to see that meeting.

On a roll, Mary adds, “Brisbane, or any Queensland city for that matter, has the potential to be a cycling haven,” her voice full of optimism. “Imagine a city that’s not just dedicated paths that weave alongside creeks, but a city where children bike ride confidently to school, and where diverse communities connect over shared rides. It’s achievable, but it requires collective action, and especially, listening to the women who see the city differently.”

So, the next time you see a female bike rider, remember: she’s not just a cyclist passing by, she’s a new perspective, a voice that wants to advocate for a more equitable and vibrant city. “We need more women in influential roles, in BUGs, in government, everywhere, not just because it’s fair, but because our unique perspective on safety, infrastructure, and community will benefit everyone” 

But how do we get more women involved, if the safety issue is so strong?

Mary thinks that social media, mentorship and accessible, well thought out riding education programs are important pieces of the puzzle. But that we also need to address the infrastructure gap: creating dedicated cycling paths that actually connect the city and feel safe and accessible, especially for women and families. By creating a welcoming environment both online and offline, we can encourage more women to say, ‘Hey, I can do this!’

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Advocacy Partner News Press releases

The new BQ CEO is Alton Twine

The Board of Bicycle Queensland is pleased to advise members and key stakeholders that the new Chief Executive Officer of the organisation is Alton Twine.

Mr Twine is a highly experienced former public servant with a long record of passionate and effective advocacy for cycling and sustainable transport.  

Most recently he was Director of Lifestyle and Community and for 8 years previously, Director of Transport and Infrastructure at Gold Coast City Council. He has also led cycling infrastructure and active transport planning and activation at Brisbane City Council as well as with the Queensland Government, where he managed the Active Transport team and had a critical role in TravelSmart, the world’s largest active transport program.

Alton was a member of the Australian Bicycle Council for many years and has had substantial input into strategy, planning and implementation of cycling facilities and behaviour change programs at all levels of government, successfully proposing and delivering significantly- increased capital works programs delivering more bikeways, facilities and active travel programs. In 2009 he was awarded Cycling Professional of the Year by the Cycling Promotion Fund.

He first joined Bicycle Queensland as a member in 2003.  He grew up in Townsville where he started his cycling career on a bright green Malvern Star, and, with still too many bikes in the shed, has recently bought his first E-bike.

Alton’s vision for BQ is to position the organisation at the forefront of advocacy for cycling, particularly as we head into a year of elections at the local and state government level. Alton also wants to improve the offering for members across the State, reinvigorating membership, insurance and events, as well has having meaningful input on behalf of members into proposals and projects that benefit cyclists. He is already planning improvements to the website, social media and participation opportunities for members.

Chair of the Board Rachel Nolan said she was very pleased to have secured Mr Twine’s services and was optimistic about the future of the organisation and of the important cause of sustainable transport.

Last year, the Board promised members we would undertake a thoughtful and thorough search for a new CEO and over the final months of 2023, we did that.  The position was advertised widely and we received 49 applications.

“Alton was the stand out candidate.  He is a capable and committed person who is very well known in cycling and sustainable cities circles for making a difference to the urban form.  He “gets it” about BQ and has the skills to deliver on providing services to members and making an impact that matters.

 “The time is right for the cycling revolution.  We live in a carbon constrained world, the cost of living is high and people are literally dying for want of opportunity to move their bodies.  Cycling and active transport are the solution to all of these things – but we need to make it easy for people to ride and get governments thinking about cities beyond cars.

“Bicycle Queensland is ambitious in its vision.  We intend to make change.

Ms Nolan said BQ had undergone significant reform in recent times, changing the legal structure, renewing the board and governance, returning to surplus after 5 years and now undertaking a highly competitive recruitment for a new CEO.

She especially thanked outgoing CEO Lisa Davies Jones, the longest standing BQ Director who stepped into the role in May and led the organisation with professionalism and grace. 

“We have been ably led by Lisa, who we will nominate for life membership at next AGM.”

Ms Davies Jones said it had been a privilege to step into the Interim CEO role through such an important time of transition for Bicycle Queensland.

“I wish the Board and Alton every success in delivering on the Board’s inspiring and important vision,” Ms Davies Jones said.

The new CEO will commence in the role on February 12.

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Uncategorised

Festive Season Office Closure

The Bicycle Queensland team wishes everyone a happy and safe festive season. Thank you for your support in 2023. We hope you are able to take some time and enjoy riding wherever you may be.

Our office will be closed for from 4:00 pm on Thursday 21st December 2023 and will reopen from 8:30 am on Monday 8th January 2024. We will respond to your voicemails and emails when we return.

To renew your membership please log into the member portal. You will need your member ID which can be found on your renewal communication or in your latest member newsletter.

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