Council Elections 2024

Elections coming around again. IWBC will be again asking candidates for their policies on cycling and Active Transport. We hope you will too, it’s important to let them know your wishes for safer cycling in the Inner West.

Bicycle NSW has a ready to sign pledge for prospective Councillors if they are reading this.

See the Page on the 2021 elections.

What did they promise last time? see the ALP and Greens bike and Active Transport policies.

IWBC Advocacy Coordinator Neil Tonkin had the following to say in a recent letter to members.

As you know the Inner West Council election of councillors will take place on Sat 14 September 2024. 
It is important that all councillors realise the importance of building a comprehensive cycleway network in the Inner West. We have only to look at the City of Sydney to see how a network of bike routes allows many people to get about safely, sustainably and at low cost. It also makes our suburbs much more liveable if there are less cars about, with reduced traffic danger, noise, pollution and congestion.
The key to making this happen is getting Councillors to direct council to implement the IWC Cycling Strategy and Action Plan. This means coming up with cycling infrastructure projects, getting them adopted by the community, funded and built. So far the current Council has not seen this as a priority and the traffic engineers have put minimal resources towards making this happen. Funding is available through Transport NSW Get Active grants.  Funding is now also available for Active Transport from the federal Infrastructure Australia department. No funding was received by IWC in the current year.
Inner West Bicycle Coalition and its member groups have tried their best to change this impasse, but the Labor majority council have not seen this as a priority.
The Coalition isdeveloping a new election campaign and will be developing new material to assist in this process. I attach for your information our Building healthy & happy communities Policy Recommendations December 2021, developed for the 2021 IWC elections.
Since 2021 we now have a good IWC cycling strategy fine words), but a very weak action plan (actual approved routes), glacial progress on design and implementation of major cycling infrastructure projects, good support from The Greens and Independents, but only weak support from Labor councillors and consequently indifferent support from senior staff within council. State government has imposed on Inner West WestConnex, the Sydney Metro and Western Metro, with some bad and some potentially good outcomes for cycling.
Transport NSW has also added new policies for promoting Active Transport such as prioritising walking and cycling in their Road User Space Allocation (RUSA) policy, and new speed limits policy allowing 30 K to be used, but they have not been effectively adopted across TNSW as can be seen in the final outcomes of projects like the Rozelle Interchange and no increase in Active Transport funding in the recent 2024/5 state budget.

Please read our policy document on Building Better Streets from 2021 and offer any suggestions you have for its improvement. We will be upgrading it in the coming weeks in preparation for meeting the new councillor candidates.

Council put out a Newsletter in July detailing community spending. There were three items relating to works for bicycles, two of which were old projects or ongoing projects funded by Westconnex or the State and Federal Government. Livingstone Rd expenditure on the recently completed cyclepath was basically remediation works to correct some poor construction, after many cyclists made complaints. At least Council did respond.

  • Livingstone Rd Cycling Improvements (Traffic) $160,000
  • Mary St Cycleway – Sydenham Station to Mary St (Traffic) $1,320,435 (part of the Westconnex Active Transport requirement)
  • Greenway Active transport and biodiversity corridor from Cooks to Cove (Community Facilities) $25,890,000. (mostly State Govt, some initial funding from Council, also some Federal funds.)

No new projects appear to be ready for 24/25. IWBC will be asking the Managing Director Ryann Midei for a more detailed budget breakdown for the next four years, to see if any plans hidden away.