Improving the cycleway network in Tamworth is a priority for us to meet the needs of our community.

Cycling is a key form of active transport and provides benefit for the environment and health benefits for riders. Where appropriate infrastructure is provided it can also reduce traffic congestion for road users and free-up parking spaces in business districts.

We are home to a number of cycling groups and clubs including Tamworth Mountain Bikers, Tamworth BMX Club, Tamworth Cycle Club and the Tamworth Bicycle User Group (TAMBUG).

When considering improvements to active transport infrastructure and the promotion of cycling, there are a variety of users to cater for from families on a leisurely ride to commuter cyclists and mountain bike riders and competitive on-road cyclists.

Provision of cycleways is identified as a core value under the theme of "An Accessible Region'' in the Tamworth Region's Community Strategic Plan. The plan's outcomes include providing a safe and efficient transport network and improving choice, availability and quality of transport options. The take up of active transport also complements achieving the outcome of "Active, healthy communities".

Background

In mid-2018 we started developing a new 10-year cycling strategy to encourage improved participation and safe cycling. This strategy will replace the currently endorsed Tamworth Regional Council Bike Plan (2014).

This strategy uses:

  • Survey data
  • Case studies
  • Census data
  • Previous studies and feedback from cycling, sporting and health communities to assist in developing both cycling infrastructure and non-infrastructure programs to improve cycling in the region.

Our region is home to about 60,000 residents and developing a connected, safe, logical and easy to navigate cycling network is actively cater for recreational, commuter, fitness or sporting purposes.

Goals

  • More people cycling in the region and ensuring that a safe and connected cycling environment is provided
  • Longer shared paths and cycleways
  • Higher community satisfaction of the cycling network
  • Increased participation in cycling events
  • Improved health of those living in the region
  • More acceptance of cyclists in the region
  • Less crashes involving cyclists

Funding

NSW Government has awarded us with cycle path funding of $3.284 million for a three-year plan to complete most of the “missing links” in our existing cycling network. This funding can only be used for construction of cycleways and shared path areas.

This package delivers funding at approximately $1 million a year.

Different types of Cyclists

There are 4 main types of cyclists. Some people are a combination of a multiple types, whilst others solely fit within a particular type. These are:

Commuter

Purpose of commuting to and from work or school which is often driven by cost, convenience, health and/or environmental benefits.

Recreational

Those who cycle for the enjoyment of cycling, either with friends, family or alone. Often involves cycling via scenic routes or places of interest.

Sporting

Those who cycle for the competitive sporting aspect of cycling. Often involves higher-speeds and utilising the on-road environment.

Health

Those who cycle for the fitness/health aspect of cycling and use it as a way of gaining health benefits.