This article was published in 2018, in Newsletter 136.
On a recent trip to Australia I was interviewed for local Melbourne radio station 3CR by `Yarra Bicycle Users Group’, the cycle campaigning organisation for the inner north area of Melbourne.
A key element of the Yarra BUG campaign is their radio programme and podcast which keeps local people informed of cycling issues.
My interviewer was Chris Star from whom I learned a lot about the various local campaigning activities for cycling and other transport issues. It seemed clear to me that cycling campaigning in Melbourne is fragmented and that it could benefit from a strong citywide campaign that really focuses on the needs of everyday cycling. As in many other places, campaigning in Melbourne is muddied by confusion with sport road cycling and associated events and government funding. This results in campaigning organisations being unable effectively to challenge investment decisions and policy (e.g. around issues with Mandatory Helmet Laws). It was positive, however, to see that a number of new segregated lanes had been installed since my last visit.
The interview meandered through a range of topics including how I got into cycling when I lived in Melbourne, what I thought of the dockless bike-sharing schemes, how implementation in Cambridge differed from that in Melbourne and what my impressions were of cycling developments in Melbourne. You can listen to the interview online at: www.yarrabug.org/radio/2017/11/06/yarrabug-radio-show-465-monday-6th-november-2017/
I didn’t get many opportunities for cycling while I was away as it was hard to get a rental bike as and when needed. (I had issues with my phone so was unable to get the app to use the oBike dockless share bikes). Perhaps the most exciting cycling adventure was in Western Australia when we had to take evasive action to avoid a snake on the path!
Roxanne De Beaux