Green light for bike plan despite community concern

THE City of Ballarat has voted to approve the Ballarat Bicycle Strategy 2014-19, despite the Ballarat Bicycle Users Group chairman voicing concern it does not meet the needs of the community. 

The council voted to endorse the strategy, which includes at least $660,000 for top-priority bicycle projects in Ballarat over the next five years.

Up to 41 specific actions are identified, with a total cost of almost $4 million. 

Addressing the meeting, bicycle users advocate John Barnes said the document had not delved into the present and future needs of cyclists adequately.

Mr Barnes said the council only allocated $230,000 a year for bikes and it was concerning the strategy did not include a program of year-by-year expenditure.

More than 15 submissions were received from residents, Federation University, and community groups.

Mr Barnes said he was disappointed but not surprised by the council’s decision.

“It makes absolutely no sense,” he said. “The council don’t seem to have any coherence and we completely wasted our time putting in submissions because they ignored absolutely everything we said.” 

Cr Peter Innes said he would welcome a yearly review to examine how the strategy was unfolding.

All councillors all voted in favour of the strategy.

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