Wednesday, 25 April 2012

TRC Council candidates respond

All 21 Toowoomba Regional Council election candidates responding to a survey question on cycling and road safety supported a 50kmh speed limit or less on Toowoomba streets. Currently Toowoomba suffers from having speed limits up to 60 kmh in many built up areas and even within in the city zone.

Co-ordinator for the Toowoomba Bicycle Users Group (TBUG), Mr. David Allworth said, “A reduction in speed from 60kmh to 50kmh reduces the chances of a fatality for cyclists and pedestrians by nearly half.

“This reduction would be an important step in the right direct for making our roads more conducive for cycling, not to mention driving,” Mr Allworth said.

Research shows a reduction in speed from 60kmh to 50kmh reduces the chance of a fatality for pedestrians and cyclists, from 9 out of 10 to 5 out of 10 and the chances of fatality at 40kmh are down to 3 out of 10, while at 30 kph it is only 1 out of 10.

"It is very pleasing to see that five council candidates supported an 30kmh and 40kmh speed limits on our streets, which is in line with researched thinking in other Australian states and particularly in some European nations," Mr. Allworth said.

"Council candidates also very strongly supported the creation of a Bicycle Advisory Committee and no parking in bike-lanes.

“The current council permits parking in bicycle lanes. This makes cycling more dangerous and wastes ratepayers funds by building a bicycle lane only to the allow parked cars to block bicycle movement within it," Mr. Allworth said.

"The last two councils have failed to bring together community and government to generate the discussion, consultation and innovation necessary to encourage more people to cycle and make cycling safer for those who already ride. The way forward is through the creation of a Bicycle Advisory Committee," Mr. Allworth said.

All candidates who provided an email address were surveyed with a total of 21 council candidates and one mayoral candidate responding.

"It is a great shame that apart from Mr. Rob Berry, all the other candidates for Mayor decided not to outline their position on the cycling to the community they hope to serve. But this does reflect the inertia that cycling has coped with in the first term of Toowoomba's expanded council," Mr. Allworth said.

“Addressing the issue of cycling is a key pillar for any efforts to make Toowoomba and district more liveable,” Mr Allworth said.

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