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Cyclists welcome changes to increase CityCycle usage
The Brisbane Central Business District Bicycle User Group (CBD BUG) has welcomed moves to help improve the membership and usage of Brisbane City Council’s CityCycle public bike hire scheme.
Recent indications are that both Council and the Opposition are listening to current and potential users to find ways to remove obstacles to use of the scheme. Brisbane CBD BUG spokesperson Ian Lister said it was encouraging to see leaders on both sides of politics talking about concrete ways to improve the scheme. “This is a reflection of the increasingly widespread support in the community, and understanding of the potential value of the scheme”, he said.
Mr Lister said the nearly 600 member CBD BUG has consistently supported the scheme because of the huge benefits it offers the city. Not only will it reduce congestion and improve mobility in inner city areas, but there is also clear evidence that more cyclists present on the road means safer conditions for all cyclists. However, there were a range of issues identified as barriers to people making greater use of this quick and easy method of getting around the city.
“Safety is one of the principal reasons potential cyclists consistently give for not riding, and the lack of marked bike lanes in and around the CBD in combination with large volumes of motor vehicle traffic can be pretty off-putting to inexperienced cyclists” Ian Lister said. “While non-cyclist perceptions of cycling being dangerous far exceed the reality, separating cyclists from motorised traffic is still important. The best way for the scheme to be successful is to make the CBD more cyclist-friendly by continuing to allocate road space to cyclists and finding ways to reduce the number of private motor vehicles entering the city centre”. He pointed out that contrary to retailers’ fears the evidence was that reducing car traffic actually increased shopper numbers and boosted retail business.
Other improvements that have been suggested for the scheme include introducing on-the-spot credit card sign-up, reducing the cost of a daily subscription, faster access to bikes after subscribing for longer periods, extending operating hours, and improving helmet access.
The usefulness and usage of the scheme continues to grow as it is rolled out, with more stations coming online and more destinations becoming accessible. Lord Mayor Graham Quirk today reported that usage is currently growing at 20% per month. The next set of stations to be constructed are expected to be announced tomorrow, and will include the cycle-friendly Bicentennial Bikeway corridor to Toowong, and the key destination of the University of Queensland. One of the major gaps in the scheme’s coverage is also soon to be plugged with the South Bank Corporation agreeing to four new hire stations being built within the precinct.
Media contact: Ian Lister
0403 984 434