The Plan will provide an opportunity for Margaret River to create an example of regional cycling infrastructure for other towns to aspire to, with the Shire considering best practice planning guidelines from the Netherlands and other countries.
Shire President Ian Earl said the reference group was important as it will provide an opportunity for interested stakeholder groups and individuals to help guide the development of a bike plan on behalf of the community.
“Engagement with the local community and stakeholder groups will be a critical component of this plan,” he said.
“We would particularly like to hear from any members of the community who have experience riding in towns and cities around the world with excellent cycling infrastructure and riding culture.”
Mr Earl said the benefits of encouraging people to ride were far reaching.
“By providing well-designed riding infrastructure we hope to encourage more and more people to choose bicycles as a way to get around.”
“This has obvious health benefits, it can reduce congestion of cars on our roads, decrease air pollution and can be good for the wallet,” he said.
A small group of shire staff, councillors and guests recently attended a presentation from visiting Dutch Cycling Professor, Marco te Brömmelstroet.
Professor te Brömmelstroet’s main message was that any town or city can make a policy choice to promote cycling and that building good infrastructure was only part of making this a success.
“Contrary to international perceptions, Amsterdam has not always had a strong cycling culture, but this has developed over time.”
Margaret River’s cycling infrastructure will be funded by a $30,000 grant through Department of Transport’s Regional Bicycle Network Program and a matching contribution from the Shire.
Once completed, the Margaret River Bike Plan could provide a template for the preparation of bike plans in other town sites, such as Augusta and Cowaramup.
The project is expected to take approximately 15 months to complete.
To lodge an expression of interest to join the Community Reference Group or to make an enquiry, please contact David Nicholson via email on [email protected]