City of Mandurah endorses 10-year plan to update local bike paths

Photo: Shutterstock.
Photo: Shutterstock.

Bike paths throughout Mandurah will soon get a welcomed revamp as part of a long-term plan to update the local cycle network.

The ten-year project will include $8.8 million worth of new and shared cycle paths, which has been allocated in the long-term financial plan.

Bike paths expected to get an upgrade include Mandurah Road, the Seascapes Coastal Path, Ormsby Terrace, Florida Parade and Estuary Road.

There will also be a number of projects to address missing linkages in key cycle routes throughout the City, including along Falcon Bay, Leslie Street and in Pleasant Grove.

The commitment comes after council adopted the City of Mandurah Cycle Plan in 2018 to help improve walking and cycling infrastructure.

Following the endorsement of the Cycle Plan, the Department of Transport has been working closely with local governments in the Peel and Perth region to develop a consolidated Long Term Cycle Network (LTCN).

The LTCN aims to make bike riding a convenient option and create "one continuous cycle network" catering for all ages and abilities by linking parks, schools, community facilities and transport services.

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Under the plan, local governments could be eligible for up to 50 per cent of the total project cost for the design and implementation of bike infrastructure.

At a council meeting last month, councillors approved to update the 2018 Cycle Plan to incoporate the LTCN plan, to ensure they are eligible for that funding.

In a report prepared for council, it was estimated that for every $1 million invested in path infrastructure, the community would earn over $2.8 million in benefits.

"Increased investment in road infrastructure that encourages more driving can cost society further with addition congestion, maintenance, trauma and reduced physical activity to name a few," it read.

Figure: City of Mandurah.

Figure: City of Mandurah.

The recommendation was met with unanimous support from councillors, including Darren Lee who moved the motion, and deputy mayor Caroline Knight who seconded it.

An avid cyclist himself, Mr Lee described the cycle plan update as "essential" to protect "one of the most vulnerable road users".

Mr Lee said linkages between schools and transport services would be the first priority.

"I'm very pleased to move this recommendation... cycling engages people of all ages and abilities," he said.

"I'm also excited by this report... I've never seen so many people out walking and cycling as I have during COVID," Ms Knight added.

We have some of the most outstanding locations for cycling in the Peel area, including the incredible coastal bike path and the network along the estuary.

Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams

Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams agreed the timing of the cycling path upgrades could not have been better.

"I think after COVID, this is the right time to be talking about bike infrastructure," he said.

"A lot of people in Mandurah like to get out and get on their bikes, and a lot of people have been advocating for good cycle networks in Mandurah for a long time.

"We have some of the most outstanding locations for cycling in the Peel area, including the incredible coastal bike path and the network along the estuary.

"This plan is about making sure we tie it all in together and that we've got a cycle network that really shows off the best parts of Mandurah for a bike user."

As part of the recommendation approved by councillors, the City or the state government are not required to "deliver all, or any part, of the LTCN within a particular timeframe".