BIKE riders can look forward to safer, more convenient journeys in Queensland as applications open for a new round of the Palaszczuk Government’s grants for bicycle infrastructure projects.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey is inviting 53 Queensland councils with an endorsed Principal Cycle Network Plan to apply for grants until 21 December. Projects will be funded on a 50-50 basis.
Mr Bailey said the state government is accelerating the delivery of the Principal Cycle Network across the state as part of the state’s Cycling Strategy 2017-2027.
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“We want to ensure there are safe and convenient transport options for everyone no matter where they live,” Mr Bailey said.
“Last year we have developed a plan for the network in Central West Queensland and I am pleased to announce the Central West Network Maps have now been published online following endorsement by local governments.
“This year, more councils than ever can apply with five additional councils now eligible for funding after publication of these maps.
“Barcaldine, Longreach, Winton, Blackall-Tambo and Boulia Councils can now apply under the grants program.
“There are now more than 10,400 kilometres of principal cycle network identified throughout Queensland covering more than 99 percent of the state’s population.”
Mr Bailey said 2019-20 would be the first-time councils could apply for grants to help fund planning to determine how they would deliver bicycle infrastructure on their highest priority routes.
“We are proud to be helping councils develop a pipeline of high-quality projects,” he said.
“We know more than 800,000 Queenslanders cycle each week and 1.53 million would ride if the conditions were right, so it is vital we support good planning and investment in bike infrastructure.
“We also know, on average, every dollar we invest in bicycle infrastructure will return nearly five dollars in economic benefit to Queensland, with improved health outcomes, reduced traffic congestion, and lower transport costs.
“More than $18 million in grant funding has been committed to local governments for cycling projects across the state in 2018-19, including 20 projects in regional Queensland.
“Since 2006, grants have been awarded to more than 530 bicycle infrastructure projects as a part of the program.”