Change to cycling law ‘sensible’ says Minister

The change, announced by Deputy Premier and Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey on Tuesday, brings the state in line with the rest of Australia.

Previously, only children under 12 years could ride a bicycle on footpaths.

Parents can now ride side-by-side with children without breaking the law.

Mrs Harvey said the announcement followed consultations with state seniors and disability organisations, including the Council on the Ageing, Blind Citizens, Inclusion and People with Disabilities.

“This is a common sense change and targeted at parents and leisure cyclists who travel at low speed and do not feel comfortable riding on the road,” she said.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said cycling on footpaths had safety benefits and low risks to pedestrians “as evidenced by other states”.

“However, local government by-laws can still ban cycling on specific footpaths if bicycle and pedestrians movements are deemed incompatible, for example outside aged care facilities,” he said.

Shire of Mundaring chief executive Jonathan Throssell said the decision “appeared to be a sensible one”.

“It may also encourage those less confident on bicycles to now try cycling without having to mix with vehicles on roadways,” he said.

He reminded cyclists that under the Shire’s local laws, cycling was not permitted in malls, arcades or on the verandas of a shopping centre.

He said there were no additional restrictions currently planned by council.

“If due care and caution is taken by all footpath users, safety concerns will be reduced, much like the mix of traffic on the roads,” he said.

The Shire of Kalamunda welcomed the move, with no plans to ban cycling on any of its public footpaths.

“Community members need to think of others and be careful,” she said.