Article by MICHAEL COX
Wollondilly Advertiser 24 Aug, 2011 12:00 AM
Living in Wollondilly means spending at least 100 minutes travelling every day, according to Transport Data Centre statistics. Michael Cox reports.
Wollondilly has the worst transport record among its regional neighbours, statistics from the Transport Data Centre’s 2007 household travel survey show.
The average resident spends more than 100 minutes in travelling time each day compared to Wingecarribee residents who travel just over an hour, according to the most recent figures available.
On average each Wollondilly household owns more than two cars.
Wingecarribee residents own less than one car per household.
Wollondilly Council has allocated an extra $100,000 towards developing a bicycle network for commuters, recreational users and families in this year’s budget to provide alternative transport measures.
Areas where cyclists need to merge into through traffic are referred to as “choke points”. And Wollondilly Council’s infrastructure and planning manager Dick Webb said Wollondilly had too many of them for cycling to become an alternative form of transport at the moment.
Cycle works recently finished on Remembrance Drive Tahmoor cost more than $150,000 to construct.
Mr Webb said the shared cycleway was one part of making Wollondilly more cycle-friendly.
He said support infrastructure including bike racks and toilet and shower facilities would be ideal.
Mr Webb said the council was considering merging its Alternative Transport Committee, Transport Forum and the Economic Advisory Group’s sub-Transport Committee into one transport advisory group.
The amalgamation means a wider range of alternative and public transport problems may be addressed and a focus could be placed on establishing shared cycleways.
“There will be less duplication across three groups,” Mr Webb said.
“Remembrance Drive has been historically not designed for cyclists,” he said.
A member of the Bargo cycling group BarBugs, Alan Willock, said he avoided using Remembrance Drive because he had a close call with two buses.
The 56-year-old Tahmoor man said he would prefer to ride via Thirlmere to get to Picton than to ride his bike on Remembrance Drive.
The transport committee is focusing on establishing a Picton/Tahmoor route for bicycles because the road was not wide enough for cyclists.
“People say they’d love to cycle but they’re too scared to get on the road — and I don’t blame them,” he said.
Mr Willock said the state and federal governments needed to contribute more to cycle networks.
“Councils can’t afford to put paths like this one (Tahmoor’s new path on Remembrance Drive) on every road,” he said.