Bring Back the Bike Budget
29th July 2012 - Bike riders of all ages and from across the political spectrum will demand the Baillieu Government honour its commitment to remove the steps, made 12 months ago as Premier Ted Baillieu rode a wave of national pride after Cadel Evans won the 2011 Tour de France.
The rally will continue the protest against the Baillieu Government's decision to cut funding for bike infrastructure to zero.
Bicycle Network Victoria is inviting every person who is impacted by Baillieu's broken promise and the $0 bike budget decision to attend the rally at Gipps St steps from midday on Sunday 29 June to express their disappointment at the Baillieu decision.
This is a not for profit organisation with the aim of improving Bicycle facilities and transport in Victoria. Bicycle Victoria rally bring back the budget
Bring a blue ribbon to the rally on Sunday and help Bring Back the Bike Budget
About 150 protesters gathered yesterday at the set of 42 steps that connect the Yarra Trail to Gipps Street, Abbotsford . They say the protest underlines the frustration over the government's decision not to commit to any new cycling infrastructure projects in this year's state budget.
Bicycle Network Victoria, which organised the protest, hoped the rally had shaken the government, as network chairman Harry Barber said he had been told it was still committed to building a $4.3 million bridge over the Yarra for cyclists and pedestrians.
'' What we were cranky about was they'd done nothing about it and until we had this demo they were planning to keep on doing nothing. But after calling the demo suddenly we've got calls and emails saying 'Don't worry, we've still got the file, we've found the money.' But they've been doing no design work or planning,'' he said.
In the aftermath of Cadel Evans' win in the Tour de France last year, the government promised a bridge at the end of nearby Clarke Street to connect the trail and prevent cyclists needing to carry their bikes up the steps. In 2010 the then Labor government had also promised a bridge.
Mr Barber said the site was at the centre of Melbourne's transport woes - just over one kilometre from the end of the Eastern Freeway- and the bridge would encourage more people to ride to work, easing the strain on the transport and public health budgets.
Mr Barber said the network expected the bridge to cater for 2500 commuters daily. He said the steps currently deterred riders from commuting.
'' The key thing is to spend the right amount in the right places to get the best value,'' he said. '' This is one of the top best-value spots and the bike budget that they cut is the one that builds these key things.''
Greg Spark, vice-president of the nearby Collingwood Children's Farm, saida bridge would encourage more people to ride to the city from the northern suburbs.
Cyclist Bill Cawte said the government needed to be more ambitious about funding bike infrastructure projects, rather than leaving it to local councils.
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ Gipps St (yarra river end) Abbotsford | Map
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