THE state government says it is working with a group proposing a $160 million Newcastle bicycle network, but hasn’t agreed to fund it with the sale of the Port of Newcastle.
As reported in the Newcastle Herald, a coalition of academics, doctors and athletes has endorsed and promoted plans for a cycle network spanning 230 kilometres across Newcastle, to be funded mainly from the lease of the Port of Newcastle.
Supporters of the CycleSafe Network including the NRMA, Lake Macquarie Private Hospital director of emergency Mark Lee and Newcastle Knights premiership-winning captain Paul Harragon appealed in an open letter to NSW Premier Mike Baird.
But asked if the government would fund the network with the $1.75 billion port lease, a Transport for NSW spokesperson said it had already announced funding for several cycling projects for the Hunter in April.
“We’re always happy to look at proposals aimed at improving cycling infrastructure,” the spokesperson said.
“The NSW Government has been pleased to work with the Newcastle CycleSafe organisations to inform the development of the current consultative draft of the cycle safe proposal and will continue to work with the organisations and councils to refine the proposal.”
The CycleSafe plan proposes a 26km, $31 million section of cycle path to be built as its “stage one” over the next three years.
CycleSafe’s supporters hope the government will include funding for stage one of the network in this month’s budget.