RAA calls for South Australian cycling investment

27 January, 2022

As South Australia’s 2022 Festival of Cycling draws to a close, RAA is calling for an increased investment in cycling as a mode of transport.

Despite the many benefits of an increase in cycling to society – such as improved health outcomes and reduced traffic congestion – SA’s rate of cycling has been found to be below that of almost every other Australian state and territory. The National Walking and Cycling Participation Survey 2021 found that only 17% of South Australians cycled in the last week and 38% in the last year – putting SA below every other jurisdiction except New South Wales.

RAA Senior Manager of Safety & Infrastructure Charles Mountain said South Australians can be hesitant to cycle for a range of reasons.

“Our recent Risky Rides survey found that our members often have safety concerns about sharing the road with other road users,” Mr Mountain said.

“Many of the state’s cycling networks are also incomplete, and we believe an ongoing investment and strategy could help upgrade infrastructure and address these concerns.”

As part of our Six for the State election platform, RAA is calling for the development of a State Cycling Strategy, including a $10m annual investment in the State Bicycle Fund. It’s part of our ‘Connected, Liveable, Smart Cities’ election priority to improve the lives of South Australians.

“Our last cycling strategy actually expired in 2010, and a new one should be developed to complement South Australia’s recently-commissioned walking strategy. Both are effective means of travel and alternatives to driving.”

Page 27 of RAA’s Priorities for South Australia details a range of programs and initiatives that could flow from a renewed investment in cycling, as well as infrastructure projects that could be completed to encourage more residents to choose cycling as a mode of transport.

Among other benefits, a cycling strategy could specifically help:

  • Map metropolitan and regional priority cycling networks consisting of separated or protected bikeways and low speed local streets.
  • Identify where cycling infrastructure needs to be built or upgraded to complete the networks and co-fund this infrastructure with councils through an expanded $10m per year State Bicycle Fund.
  • Expand the Way2Go Bike Ed program so that a much greater proportion of primary school students have the opportunity to receive cycling training.
  • Review driver training to give greater emphasis to safe driving around cyclists.

To learn more about how we’re standing up for our members and community in the lead-up to this year’s State election, visit the Representing You page on RAA Daily.