Bicycle Group

By: sdfsd


We want your support for the children’s bicycle education facility (CARES) at Sydney Park and ask that you vote in favour of the recision motion to be put at the council meeting on 20th November. We believe that, after reading our case below, you’ll agree that supporting CARES in Sydney Park is undoubtedly the right choice.

Marrickville-South Sydney Bicycle Group

Marrickville-South Sydney Bicycle Group (MASSBUG) is the local bicycle group, founded in 1991 and affiliated with Bicycle New South Wales, the peak state cycling advocacy organisation of 10,000 members (???? in South Sydney). Our role is to work with South Sydney and Marrickville Councils and state government bodies for the improvement of bicycle infrastructure and safety. We also provide information, advice and rides for members of the local community and local schools.

South Sydney City Council and Marrickville-South Sydney Bicycle Group
We are proud of our excellent relationship with South Sydney Council, where we have had representation on the traffic committee for many years. We see South Sydney Council as the leading council in Sydney for bicycle provision and readily give council credit. Most recently this has been in the form of our positive submission to the Draft Management Plan (see www.massbug.org.au > advocacy > resources), our letter to the General Manager of 28th April 2002, and in an ABC radio interview (recording available from the same page on our website). We encourage you to read our submission and listen to the ABC radio interview, to get an appreciation of the broad range of cycling related interests we cover. We note that South Sydney may be the only council where every councillor lists himself or herself as being on the Bicycle Liaison Committee (SS Strategic Plan).
Bicycle Education

New South Wales does not participate in Bike-Ed, the national bicycle education program, (www.greenweb.com.au/kidsafe/html/bp_bike_ed_campaign.html) and is sadly lacking in bicycle education. All we have is just four CARES facilities around Sydney, with long waiting lists for school classes to attend. The primary focus of CARES is road safety education for children, aiming to improve road user behaviour, with the classes being carried out on bikes. They are extremely popular with schools and children, but currently the huge demand cannot be met.
MASSBUG has long played an active role in education. We help schools to run bike days on request. We inform and educate adult cyclists, our main focus in the last two years having been on improving visibility of cyclists by handing out reflective ankle bands and information on lighting systems. A member of our group is the author of the RTA adult proficiency scheme manual.

History of MASSBUG efforts to get CARES

In 1992 MASSBUG first proposed a CARES facility for O’Dea Reserve and successfully got a Ros Kelly whiteboard grant to build it, with the support of Marrickville Council and the RTA. Unfortunately there were problems with the site and by 1995 it became necessary to find another. The RTA (and SSROC?) did a detailed regional site study and found that the only appropriate site in the region was Sydney Park. At about this time it was included in the RTA’s strategic plan as a regional facility. In 1996, MASSBUG member Bruce Ashley was involved in preparing the original site plans for Sydney Park. Sydney Park has had unanimous support as the ideal regional location and in all those years there was no opposition to the site or to the philosophy of CARES. Nor do we believe that there was any opposition, by any councillor or member of the community, to the budget for the construction at the time when the budget was passed in June this year.

Sydney Park as an increasingly ideal location

Sydney Park has become even more relevant as a cycling, and especially beginner cycling, hub as the nearby Alexandra Canal Cycleway becomes a reality. This will enable less experienced cyclists, perhaps newly trained by MASSBUG at a weekend cycling course at the CARES facility, to then venture further afield, using Alexandra Canal to reach the Cooks River, and from there Homebush, or Cronulla, by largely off road routes. Providing good cycle access to Sydney Park will be important to encourage people to ride to the facility, as stated in our submission to the draft management plan.

The landscaped series of paths that is CARES will be a crucial community asset. Even more so given the dearth of other bicycle education opportunities for children, and especially in inner Sydney areas where back yard and schoolyard space is lacking and many parents and even children don’t have bikes. It will be a showpiece for South Sydney Council, completely consistent with its progressive stance on road safety and support for cycling and liveable communities. In addition it will be an important regional resource, bringing education and enjoyment to schoolchildren near and far.

MASSBUG particularly supports South Sydney Council’s innovation, to make the CARES facility an accessible resource for the community, so that parents have a safe place for their children to get active recreation on their bikes on the afternoons and weekends, and so that MASSBUG can conduct cycling classes for children and all ability levels of adults.

It would be very hard to imagine any South Sydney Councillor who cares about the community, children, safety and increasing cycling for liveability, failing to support the CARES facility in Sydney Park.

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We want your support for the children’s bicycle education facility (CARES) at Sydney Park and ask that you vote in favour of the recision motion to be put at the council meeting on 20th November. We believe that, after reading our case below, you’ll agree that supporting CARES in Sydney Park is undoubtedly the right choice.

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