Categories
Advocacy Press releases

Bicycle Queensland Mountain Biking in National Parks Position Statement

Media Release – Thursday 28 July 2022.

Bicycle Queensland has released a position statement supporting the further development of sustainable mountain bike trails in National Parks (and other land tenures).

“Bicycle Queensland believes that the key to unlocking the benefits of mountain biking is the access to land on which to build sustainable trail networks,” said Bicycle Queensland CEO Rebecca Randazzo.

“This will need the collaboration of the mountain bike community, First Nations people, State and Local Government agencies, coupled with the development of a robust environmental framework which would guide the planning and construction of sustainable trail networks in National Parks and many other land management tenures,” said Ms Randazzo (a keen mountain bike rider).

Mountain biking as a sport, recreational and adventure tourism activity continues to grow in popularity throughout Australia. A diverse range of people are discovering the freedom and connection to nature mountain biking offers. It can provide a unique antidote to the pressures of modern living and an appreciation of our indigenous heritage.

The social, health and environmental benefits of mountain biking are well documented. Participants get closer to nature, it keeps them fit, healthy and active, improves mental and physical health thereby reducing the future burden on the health system.

Mountain bikers have a strong appreciation for nature, and riding in natural areas has caused them to change their behaviour to take better care of the environment.

“Bicycle Queensland already collaborates with local trail care and mountain biking community groups, especially in south-east Queensland,” Ms Randazzo said.

“Mountain biking is a growth sport, and Bicycle Queensland sees that it has potential benefits not just for the health of those riding their bikes, but also economically through increased eco-tourism,” Ms Randazzo said.

Please direct all enquiries to Andrew Demack at bqinfo@bq.org.au

Categories
Advocacy

Bicycle Queensland advocates for the extension of the E-Vehicle rebate to E-Bikes

Bicycle Queensland has welcomed the State Government’s new incentives for electric vehicle purchases, but says they don’t go far enough.

“E-bikes are the original zero-emission vehicles, and they are even better for the environment than electric cars,” according to Bicycle Queensland’s Director of Advocacy Andrew Demack.

“E-bikes require fewer resources to manufacture and run, and they are more efficient because of their relative lightweight, and the physical input of the person riding. In every way e-bikes are better for the environment than electric vehicles,” Demack said.

“We support the State Government’s initiative to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles, especially for business. Logically, if we are giving financial incentives for people to leave fossil-fuel-powered vehicles behind, then e-bikes fall right into that same category.”

One of Australia’s largest commercial enterprises, Australia Post, has switched to small electric trikes which fall outside the regulations for e-bikes, so they have to be registered. Even with that added cost of registration, Australia Post sees a cost-benefit advantage in changing over their entire delivery fleet to small electric vehicles.

Bicycle Queensland urged the Queensland Government to think big and think wide when tackling the issues of climate change and sustainable transport.

“Just because a technology has been available for a while it doesn’t mean it should be discounted or sidelined. In Queensland, we’ve only just begun to see the benefits of e-bikes for commuting and utility trips. In many cities around the world cargo e-bikes are taking a much more prominent role as commercial vehicles, especially for delivery in congested inner-city areas,” Demack said.

In a letter to Transport and Main Roads Minister the Hon Mark Bailey, and Energy and Renewables Minister the Hon Mick de Brenni, Bicycle Queensland put forward the idea of a $1000 rebate on e-bikes, with a further $500 rebate if the e-bike owner also reduces the number of cars registered in Queensland.

“We have heard so often from e-bike retailers that customers are buying e-bikes for their family as a replacement for a second car. This has great financial benefits for those families, but also for Queensland. Fewer cars on the road mean lower emissions and less traffic congestion. Surely this is something that the Queensland Government should embrace!”

The average Brisbane family now spends more than $23,000 per year on transport, about 17% of household income. Let’s give Queensland families the nudge they need to ditch the second car, go green, reduce emissions, and live healthier lives.

Categories
Advocacy

BQ’s top priorities for Brisbane City Council

In the lead-up to the Brisbane City Council’s budget, Bicycle Queensland’s advocacy team wrote to BCC Transport chair Cr Murphy outlining our top priorities following recent rain events.

We said the recent weather damage to our bikeways must be a signal to BCC to re-double our efforts towards making Brisbane a better place to walk and ride. Any other response will see our generation condemned by those to come.

BQ’s top priorities in Brisbane City Council LGA:

  • Complete Stage 5 of the North Brisbane Bikeway.
  • Continue with planning and seeking funding for the Toowong to West End and St Lucia to West End Green Bridges.
  • Rebuild the Kedron Brook Bikeway back better.

We have also been working with the North Brisbane Bicycle Users Group on potential interim solutions for local access to washed-out sections of the Kedron Brook bikeway around Stafford and Grange. 

BQ and NorthBUG have written to the Lord Mayor offering these solutions and requesting temporary paths be put in place. Read our letter here.

Categories
Advocacy

BQ welcomes the State budget to deliver safer school zones

Queensland school zones will be safer than ever, thanks to more than $40 million in increased investment in the state budget for two important projects to boost school safety.

Bicycle Queensland CEO Rebecca Randazzo has welcomed the State Government’s announcement.

“School crossings are a great investment in the safety and health of our children,” Ms Randazzo said.

Bicycle Queensland has called for better paths in the 1.5 km catchment around all schools as part of our plan to help Queensland become the healthiest state.

“The environment around our schools has to encourage people to walk, ride and scoot to school. We need not just safe crossings, but also wider footpaths in the 1.5km catchment around schools so that students and parents can find ways of getting to school that relieve congestion, encourage physical activity, and build resilience.

“Congratulations to Minister Bailey on this great step, and for listening to local communities who are saying that the trip to school for many families is an important opportunity to build some exercise into their day.”

“Safe infrastructure which encourages people to walk and ride is important everywhere in our local neighbourhoods, but it has to start with the trip to school,” Ms Randazzo said.

With active travel growing across Queensland, we encourage more school communities to invest in education and infrastructure to support students actively travelling to school.

To learn more, check out Bicycle Queensland’s Active Travel Schools webpage and gain access to free resources to get your school started!

Categories
Advocacy

Sunshine Coast: local advocates know what they want

Raised pedestrian crossing at Montville

Bicycle Queensland’s Director of Advocacy, Andrew Demack, represents members on the Sunshine Coast Active Transport Advisory Committee (ATAC). This committee was an initiative of Transport and Main Roads Minister, Hon Mark Bailey, and includes a councillor from Sunshine Coast Regional Council, and senior staff from both the Council and TMR district office.

The committee includes a group of excellent local cycling advocates: Damian Jones, Prue Oswin, and Tim Rogers from the Sunshine Coast chapter of Cycling Without Age. The local advocacy group are setting the agenda for how to move active transport forward on the Sunshine Coast. As well as looking at bikeway infrastructure priorities, they have also identified cycling and walking access to shopping and education precincts as an area that gives great ‘bang-for-buck’ in terms of outcome for dollars spent.

At Sunshine Coast ATAC’s most recent meeting, Prue pointed to the success of Montville’s walking precinct as an example of adding raised pedestrian priority crossings to slow traffic and create an environment in which people feel comfortable walking and cycling. The group identified five projects across the Coast to get the ball rolling: priority crossings at Eumundi and Bli Bli, Mooloolaba to Minyama ferry, bikeway at Oceanic Drive, Wurtulla, improving path connections from Caloundra to Caloundra South, and signalising Nicklin Way/Caloundra Rd roundabout.

It’s great to work with local advocates with a vision for how cycling and walking have the potential to transform local communities, and we look forward to seeing these projects move forward!

Categories
Advocacy Bikeway detours and closures

Bicentennial Bikeway Restoration | BQ Letter to BCC

Update 23 March

Great news! Brisbane City Council have agreed to our suggestion of a pop-up bikeway on Coronation Drive.

The left outbound lane of Coronation Drive between Lang Parade and Graham Street will become a temporary bikeway from Monday morning.

Brisbane City Council said the speed limit in that section would be slowed to 40 kilometres per hour and water-filled safety barriers would separate vehicle and cycling traffic.

Read more here.

Following on from constructive work done by Brisbane West BUG, Bicycle Queensland wrote to Brisbane City Council to seek their assistance in the quickest possible restoration of the Bicentennial Bikeway.

Director of Advocacy Andrew Demack wrote to Cr Ryan Murphy, Chair of Transport, saying:

“The BCC website currently gives no timelines for either inspection of the bikeway, or for the removal of debris. It would be very helpful to have a timeline on how long this disruption will last!

“We urge you to collaborate closely with Maritime Safety Queensland to expedite the removal of the former Drift restaurant from the bikeway.

“Lord Mayor and Cr Murphy, our bikeways are always vulnerable to severe weather events because our network of bikeways and shared paths is not resilient, and lacks alternatives. The Bicentennial Bikeway is a world-class facility, but there is no fallback, no detour bikeway for 5000 regular bike riders to use.

“Bicycle Queensland’s members are keen to work with BCC on solutions. Here are some suggestions that take seriously the concerns of bike riders and others who use the Bicentennial Bikeway:

  • BCC could provide a temporary bike lane on Coronation Drive.
  • Free train travel for bike riders at Toowong and Auchenflower stations to CBD stations.
  • Free travel on BCC buses for bike riders from Toowong to City destinations.
  • Sign alternate route such as https://www.strava.com/routes/2938247928450082494.
  • Temporary lowering of the speed limit to 40 km/h on the sections of Coronation Drive which are likely to have increased bike traffic.

“Many BQ members have reported to us that they see the lack of timelines for repairing bikeways as a symbol of BCC’s priorities. We urge you to consider active transport and e-mobility as being of equal significance in Council’s transport system as the road network.

“Building a resilient system that can withstand future flood events is part of re-ordering these priorities,” Mr Demack said.

Read our letter to Cr Ryan Murphy here

Drift on Bicentennial Bikeway
Categories
Advocacy Press releases

Bill Loveday- Bicycle Queensland Life Member

Bicycle Queensland’s longest-serving office bearer, Bill Loveday, was elected as a Life Member at a Special General Meeting on 24 February.

Bill was president of Bicycle Queensland for 20 years (1999-2019), and also served as secretary before that.

BQ vice-president Rachel Nolan paid tribute to Bill’s contribution, working closely with BQ’s first CEO Ben Wilson as the organisation experienced rapid growth in membership, capacity and influence during his tenure as President.

“Bill Loveday and Ben Wilson were the people who led this transition from a tiny community group to an organisation with 16,000 members which has a significant influence on Government policy and spending on infrastructure. Bicycle Queensland owes Bill Loveday a great deal,” Ms Nolan said.

Bill Loveday life member
From left – BQ President Rob Van Manen, Life Member Bill Loveday , BQ Vice-President Rachel Nolan.
Categories
Advocacy Press releases

Bikes Permanently on Trains After Successful Trial

Bicycle Queensland’s advocacy in favour of bikes on trains paid off on the weekend with the announcement by Transport Minister Mark Bailey that the trial has become permanent.

Bicycle Queensland wrote to the Minister with the support of metro area bicycle user groups in March 2021, with a request to liberalise the rules around bicycles on CityTrains. At the time, you could not take your bike on peak hour trains in the peak direction of travel. 

BQ’s Director of Advocacy Andrew Demack explains: “The long-standing prohibition of bikes on trains during peak hour made no sense to us, especially in early 2021 when patronage was way down during the pandemic.”

“Even when passenger numbers on our CityTrains return to normal levels, it’s our view that allowing bikes on trains at any time makes both modes more useful for so many people. 

“Multi-moding — riding a short trip to the train station, then taking your bike with you, so that you can ride it another short trip at the other end — just highlights the flexibility of the bike as a transport option, and the usefulness of the train.

“So with the support of all the metro area BUGs, we asked the Minister to make this change. He responded by announcing a trial of the change, and now the policy of allowing bikes on trains at any time has been made permanent. We’re delighted!”

“There is always more to do, and we are keen to develop our partnerships with Queensland Rail, and the Cross River Rail project. Investment in public transport is a win for those of us who are keen on giving options for the way we move around. Public transport and active transport go hand in hand,” Mr Demack said.

Read the Brisbane Times announcement below.

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/bikes-scooters-allowed-permanently-on-trains-after-successful-trial-20220121-p59q56.html

Transport Minister Mark Bailey and BQ CEO Rebecca Randazzo