While the future of transport would seem to be smaller vehicles and more two-wheelers, one state doesn’t agree and has left motorcycles out of its plans.
The NSW Future Transport Technology Roadmap for the next 20 years doesn’t mention motorcycles once in its 98 pages.
That’s not uncommon among planning authorities. We’ve criticised Austroads before over road network planning reports that don’t mention motorcycles and statistical reports that say motorcycles are “insignificant”.
But when the biggest state in Australia totally ignores the fastest-growing personal vehicle segment (up 2.7% over the past year) in a study outlining future transport planning, it defies belief.
The study says that since 2011, the NSW Government has embarked on an “ambitious infrastructure program to inject much-needed capacity into the transport system”.
It talks about expensive widening of roads, new rail projects, more buses and ferries, etc.
However, none of this might have been needed if more was done to encourage and facilitate motorised two-wheelers.
Roads would not have to be wider, and more public transport and specific lanes would not have to be introduced.
NSW was the first state to introduce lane filtering, yet there is no mention of how this is helping to move traffic quicker.
Motorcycles and scooters should be a major part of the transport solution.
Instead of being ignored, they should be allowed in bus, transit and bicycle lanes; exempt from tolls; permitted to park on footpaths; and encouraged with lower tax incentives.
As usual, bicycles get a mention, especially electric bicycles and bicycle hire schemes.
Yet the Brisbane City Council bicycle hire scheme is a farce with racks and racks of unused bicycles cluttering up footpaths.
It’s a constant reminder to the ratepayer of their squandered funds.
How can authorities continue to be blind to the virtues of motorised two-wheeled transport and produce such short-sighted plans?