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In their A Better Cycling Future discussion paper, the WA Labor Party outlined a number of changes that could make cycling safer, including safer separation between bicycles and cars, more cycle-only lanes and allowing children up to 16 and their parents to cycle on footpaths.
However, Bicycle Transport Alliance chief executive Heinrich Benz said safety would be better achieved with higher cycling numbers.
‘The more people out there riding on Perth streets, the safer those streets become,’ Mr Benz said.
‘People expect to see kids riding to school, they expect someone might be cycling to work or the train station and so they’re more likely to look out for them when they’re driving.
‘It’s about safety in numbers, but to attract more people onto bikes we need to create a nice environment for people to ride in, so that means building proper infrastructure that physically separates bikes from car traffic.’
Mayor Brad Pettitt agreed safety was linked with higher numbers of cyclists on the road.
‘Cyclist safety is paramount to growing cycling activity and is a key reason why the City is investing in bicycle lanes, shared paths and lower speed zones throughout Fremantle,’ he said.
‘My aim as mayor is to make cycling an integral and normal part of transport in Fremantle.
‘This approach is not anti-car, but centred on providing a choice of safe and convenient transport options for varying visitor needs.’