Christmas letter from We Ride Australia
22 December 2021 | Uncategorised
As we prepare to turn off our Zoom connections and focus on our families and loved ones after a difficult and stressful year, WeRide would like to take this opportunity to wish all our friends, supporters and every one of the 8 million Australians who choose to ride a bicycle the very best for this holiday season and the significant celebrations that follow.
For WeRide it has been another big year that we can now reflect on with a huge amount of pride in what we have achieved, including;
- First report ever to determine the size of the Australian cycling economy.
- Launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Cycling with events promoting the Regional Economic Benefits of Cycle Tourism and the COVID Dividend for Cycling in Cities.
- Thought leadership across research, advisory groups, knowledge sharing and collaboration with peak groups in the environment, transport and health sectors.
Like all of you, we are looking forward to coming back in 2022 with renewed energy and wisdom to tackle the problems that really matter to make Australia a better place for us all.
But first we need to re-charge our batteries with our loved ones and find some time to turn those pedals gently in the Aussie sun. Please see our 2021 highlights below.
Our best wishes to you all – Peter and the team at WeRide.
1 – AUSTRALIA’S $6.3 BILLION ECONOMY
A major highlight for WeRide in 2021 was federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg launching our Australian Cycling Economy Report by EY in a live national broadcast hosted by Osher Gunsberg.
For the first time ever we know the direct contribution of the cycling sector is an impressive $6.3 billion – and the direct employment is more than 34,000 full time jobs!
This is perhaps the single most important piece of work to date that backs our calls for investment in better infrastructure, programs and commitment to cycling nationally.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, speaking at the launch, said
“You can use this data to leverage more cycling infrastructure”
“The cycling sector is driving very substantial economic activity”.
After more than a decade as the leading voice for cycling advocacy at the federal level we have the access, the respect and reputation as professional advocates to not only have the Treasurer launch this milestone report from Parliament House, but we also had the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Stephen Jones MP, our three Parliamentary Cycling group Co-Chairs, Dave Sharma MP, Dr Helen Haines MP and Hon. Dr Andrew Leigh MP, and the CEOs of Westpac, Bunnings, Salesforce, EY and AusCycling assist us to launch the Report.
We’re grateful for the enormous support from the report sponsors and our Members, EY, International Cycling Executives and the many CEOs who joined us in this important effort.
Read more here: www.weride.org.au/australiancyclingeconomy
2 – PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDS OF CYCLING
The Parliamentary Friends of Cycling group, established by WeRide late in 2020, continues to develop as a major platform to bring cycling to the heart of Parliament.
At each event, our 3 Parliamentary Champions for cycling – Dave Sharma MP, Dr Helen Haines MP and Hon. Dr Andrew Leigh – support our Key Note Speakers and Ministers who share their expertise with MPs and Senators.
Two-wheeled tourism – transforming Australia’s regions
In February, our event focused on the regional economic benefits of Cycle Tourism with Tourism North East (VIC) and Rail Trails Australia presenting. Key Note Addresses were provided by Hon. Mark Coulton, Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government and the Hon. Mark Dreyfus, Shadow Attorney-General.
The COVID Dividend for Cycling in Cities event in Parliament
Our June event brought the support of corporate Australia to Parliament with Mark Ames, the General Manager of Connect Macquarie Park and North Ryde, representing Australia’s 4th largest CBD with over 100,000 people working and studying in the precinct.
Sara Stace, the senior manager for walking and cycling in Transport for NSW, presented the latest data on the stunning success of the investments in pop-up bike lanes as a response to COVID.
Read more – watch videos of the presentations here www.weride.org.au/events/the-covid-dividend-for-cycling-in-cities/
3 – NATIONAL SUBMISSIONS
As a national leading voice for cycling, WeRide provides critical input and feedback to national issues and inquiries
Road Safety – National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS)
WeRide has been active throughout 2020-2021 in the consultations for the next 10-year NRSS.
- We joined coordinated and led a joint submission to the NRSS, see weride.org.au/policy-planning/safer-streets-for-riding/
- We also joined with an AGF-led effort in another submission to the draft NRSS – see NRSS-2021_JointSubmission_Cycling.pdf
National submission with the Australian Society for Physical Activity
WeRide has joined with the Australian Society for Physical Activity and will be launching a call for all parties in the federal Election to:
- provide connected, safe networks of paths and crossings for 1500m around all schools,
- establish lower speed limits (down to 30kph) for local streets and areas where pedestrians and cyclists mix, and
- introduce a financial incentive for the purchase of e-bikes to ride to work.
4 – KNOWLEDGE LEADERSHIP – A SNAPSHOT
Most of our work is out of the public eye and involves input into key reference bodies for cycling and support for work that benefits cycling. A few of our key engagements are:
Cycling and Walking Australia and New Zealand
WeRide continues its membership of this Australasian peak body that brings together government representatives from every state and territory, key national cycling and walking groups and local government representatives.
A key engagement in October was the expert panel presentation at the Australian Road Safety Congress 2021 on ‘How can road safety strategies increase safety for all road users?’ WeRide’s Stephen Hodge opened with a video on common road design issues that impact on cycling safety.
Safer Speeds Discussion Paper for National Road Safety Week
WeRide launched a Safer Speeds discussion paper to mark National Road Safety Week in May. Covering extensive data on the case for lower speeds, international experience and planning considerations, it adds to the case for lower speed limits to improve road safety and make our streets more enticing for those of us who would like to walk and ride a bike more.
See the information here: www.weride.org.au/policy-planning/are-we-ready-for-lower-speeds/
RMIT Healthy Liveable Cities Lab (HLCL)
WeRide’s Stephen Hodge was invited to join the HLCL Policy and Practice Advisory Group, which is chaired by Jonathan Spear, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer, Infrastructure Victoria.
The international collaboration brings together Australian and UK urban planning and health experts to virtually model and test the benefits of transport planning in creating healthier and sustainable cities across both countries.
Safe Travel Together
WeRide contributed strongly to the development of a Queensland Government funded safety project and campaign to promote greater safety during interactions between heavy road vehicles and vulnerable road users.
2022 UCI Road Cycling World Championships
WeRide has been working with the City of Wollongong now for several months providing data and planning counsel as they work on bicycle transport aspects of the development of cycling facilities in the City ahead of the UCI World Road Cycling Championships in 2022.
WeRide has conducted its Bicycle Transport Analysis for the Wollongong city area to measure the bikeability between key destinations.
See more information here: https://www.weride.org.au/programs/bicycle-transport-analysis/
Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Bicycle Tourism Metrics Project
WeRide’s Stephen Hodge was invited to participate in the TMR Bicycle Tourism Metrics project working group providing oversight on the work to develop cycle tourism metrics to assist the state assess growth, development and benefits of QLD cycle tourism.
Cycling for Sustainable Cities webinar
WeRide’s Peter Bourke, as one of the co-authors of the most recent edition of Cycling for Sustainable Cities by Ralph Buehler and John Pucher, facilitated a national webinar that was jointly hosted by CWANZ and Austroads. The topic is clearly very important to both practitioners and bike advocates across the country and was one of the most successful cycling webinars ever conducted in Australia with a registered audience of more than 1,000.
See more here: austroads.com.au/webinar-cycling-for-sustainable-cities
Cycling Advisory Groups
WeRide continues to contribute as a member of the Queensland group at the invitation of QLD Minister for Transport, Mark Bailey MP and the ACT Government’s Active Travel Advisory Group.
About We Ride Australia
We Ride Australia (‘WeRide’) is the national independent voice for cycling in Australia. WeRide’s mission is to build a healthy, sustainable future through advocacy, program development and research around the bicycle’s role in environment, health, infrastructure and safety.
We look forward to working to support the bicycle riders of Australia in 2022.