Public transport and cycling are two highly complementary sustainable transport modes. The PTUA therefore supports improved conditions for cyclists. Like public transport and walking, cycling offers a healthy and benign alternative to travelling by car. For shorter trips, in particular, cycling offers a significant level of convenience unmatched by the motor car. Our public transport should aim to provide just such convenience, without the disadvantages of vulnerability to traffic and exposure to the elements.
The Bike-Train Combination
The utility of the bicycle can be greatly enhanced when coupled with a well-functioning rail system. The ability to carry bicycles on trains makes journeys possible that would otherwise be infeasible, and also provides a welcome emergency service for cyclists in the event of rain or other unforeseen difficulties.
It is therefore important that improvements to the public transport service include facilities for the carriage of bicycles on trains. Bicycles should continue to be carried free on suburban train services with no special restrictions in off-peak and in the counter-peak direction. Adequate bicycle facilities should be provided on all country train services.
Obviously carrying bicycles on trains can cause problems at busy times, which is why ample secure bicycle parking must be provided at all railway stations.
Cycling, in association with effective connecting route bus services and pedestrianisation provide an environmentally superior and more cost-effective alternative to the park-and-ride approach frequently implemented by Victorian rail authorities. Adequate facilities should be provided for commuters and others who have no need for a bike at their destination to park their bike securely at a railway station and travel the rest of the way by train.
The provision of bicycle parking is a relatively simple and inexpensive measure that is also very space efficient: around twenty bicycles can be parked in the space required by a single car.
Free, sheltered bicycle parking should be provided at all railway stations, on a scale at least comparable with the number of car parking spaces that are provided. Free “Parkiteer” bicycle cages should continue to be rolled out to provide more secure facilities.
Reviewed: September 2015