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ACT to spend $23mln on cycling infrastructure in latest budget

Alia Parker's picture
Canberra Australia map. Cycle Traveller

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government will spend $23 million to expand and improve its bicycle and pedestrian path network.

Talking to 666 ABC Canberra radio, Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury said $23 million would be spent to build new bike paths and pedestrian ways as well as make improvements to aging 'active network' infrastructure.

"It includes bike paths, upgraded pedestrian and bike crossings and the pedestrian network around the city," he told the ABC, Thursday. "So new infrastructure in the new suburbs and also keeping up-to-date some of the aging infrastructure."

The announcement comes ahead of the Territory's annual budget, which will be released on June 2, 2015.

Mr Rattenbury said the plans include an upgrade to the Sullivan's Creek path, which will make commuting into Canberra easier, as well as sealing a path through Bowen park for leisure riders.

"One of two projects at Kingston is to build a new cycling path along the edge of the lake through Bowen Park," he said. "There's an informal dirt track there at the moment and that will be upgraded to a proper bike path.

"There is also a significant upgrade planned for the inner north bike path which runs along Sullivan's Creek, and is the busiest bike path in Canberra so it is being widened."

The announcement has been welcomed by the local cycling group Pedal Power.

"The Kingston Foreshore and the Bowen Park area have been on the books for sometime and they need to be addressed, and I'm really pleased to see the busy Sullivan's Creek bike path widened," John Armstrong from Pedal Power told the ABC.

While the Territory's investment is significant, it falls short of the $50 million spend over four years Pedal Power has lobbying for.

Pedal Power has previously said its highest priority was the completion of the 3.2km Civic Cycle Loop to connect Canberra's central streets. Under current plans, the bike lanes form a horseshoe shape, with a missing section at the southern end.

Image: Canberra map. Source: Shutterstock.

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