State Budget 2018: Money for New Cycling Infrastructure Drops Through the Floor..?

New secure Active-Transport infrastructure on Semaphore Road!

Each year PA/E staff and the PortBUG come up with a program of targeted projects taken from those identified in its Bike Plan as well as others that stem from DPTI projects and other initiatives.  And every year since 2015 the Port Adelaide/Enfield Council has also applied to the State Bicycle Fund (administered by DPTI) for the matched funding grant it requires to implement these projects.

So the PortBUG read with considerable alarm in this year's Budget Papers of the Government's intention to reduce this fund through: ‘rationalisation of lower priority services, including a reduction in... grants provided to local councils for cycling paths’.

We understand that over the past few years the SBF has hovered around $2M, to be shared amongst all of South Australia's councils. Not much really, especially when we consider the amount of work and investment required to transform Adelaide into a 'Bike Friendly City'! We now have it on good authority that the SBF may have been reduced to around $300,000 or even less for the coming year. If correct this seems to be tokenism at its worst!

Why? Because it simply will not be enough to continue to support local government struggling to create a 'bike friendly city' at ground level - where it counts! Over 2016-17 the Port Adelaide Council alone relied on a grant of $164,000 to continue implementation of its own Bike Plan (as well as $68,700 in 2015/16 and $68,500 in 2014/15)! Clearly $300,000 isn't going to be of much help when divided up amongst Adelaide's Councils, let alone others across the State!

We are very concerned at where this may leave PA/E Council with 2 years yet to run in completing its current Bike Plan and facing many traffic management challenges associated with:

  • greatly increased numbers of heavy vehicles on our roads
  • thousands of new commuters travelling to new shipping and freight industries on the LeFevre Peninsula
  • major new housing developments at Northgate and Windsor Gardens and around the Port's Inner Harbour
  • the new Port Dock Rail Station
  • reducing current crippling road congestion through the Port CBD!

Accordingly we have written to Transport Minister Stephan Knoll asking him to clarify this budget cut, to indicate the funds available to Councils over the next few years and - of course - to reconsider the decision if at all possible. We will keep you informed of his response!

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The 85% cut to the State Bicycle Fund will very likely see the development of Adelaide's bike network stall and regress!

If you too would like to email Minister Knoll to protest this very damaging cut to the State Bicycle Fund and request it's reinstatement, PortBUG provides a 'form letter' you can use - see our website here:

https://portadbug.org/sbf-campaign-2018-19

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