THE CITY of Ballarat’s Active Transport Working Group will produce a new Ballarat Cycling Action Plan two years after publishing the Ballarat Bicycle Strategy.
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The new plan, which will form part of council’s overarching Active Transport Plan, will involve consultation with local recreational an commuter cyclists as well as the Bicycle Network of Victoria in order to identify areas most in need of additional infrastructure.
While over 40 recommendations were put forward in the 2014 strategy, including eight which were deemed high priority, capital works have begun on only three of the projects to date.
City of Ballarat councillor and Active Transport Working Group member Vicki Coltman said the cycling section of the Active Transport Plan would refine some of the suggestions from the 2014 strategy so that council funds were spent where they were most needed.
“Strategies are always overarching and not about the detail,” Cr Coltman said. “We know there are already links around the city, and the idea is to find the gaps and make sure we fill them.”
The group is currently in the process of outlining specific networks most used by cyclists, which will be trialed by the group before deciding on priority projects.
Cr Coltman said council would be looking to work collaboratively with the state and federal governments to fund the outcomes of the action plan, which are due to be released in mid-2016.
Across 2015/16 council has spent $210,000 on upgrades to cycling infrastructure along Main Road and Canadian Crossing, Eyre Street between Russell and Pleasant Street and Fussell Street.
A statement from the City of Ballarat’s people and communities general manager Neville Ivey said “planning is well underway” for a further nine projects.
The announcement of the new plan comes after data from the Bicycle Network’s annual Super Tuesday count revealed a falling number of Ballarat workers were choosing to ride to work.
The 2015 data showed a nine per cent drop in commuter cyclists on 2014, which was also down 6.3 per cent on 2013 figures.
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