Transport tycoon Paul Keating has said he wants to get more cyclists on bikes in cities, with the government introducing a new scheme to allow cyclists to use the lanes for the first time.
Key points:Paul Keating said the scheme would be introduced to increase the number of cyclists on roadsThe scheme would allow drivers to use lanes when cyclists are on bikesMr Keating told Sky News the scheme was part of a drive to increase cycling in cities to “increase confidence and improve public safety”He said it was a “tremendous step forward” but would be implemented gradually, as a pilot scheme was needed.
“We’re going to take a look at this.
We need to look at what’s been successful in terms of improving the cycling experience and what’s not been successful,” he said.”
And the key here is we’ve got to work with cities and try and find a way of doing that.”
The scheme is a new one, with Mr Keating saying he hoped to introduce it in the next couple of years.
It will allow drivers of motor vehicles to use cycling lanes on their own when it is safe for them to do so.
“I’m not going to say this is a one-off thing.
I’m hoping we can all agree that this is an ongoing process,” he told Sky.”
There’s no magic wand here.
You need to work together to do it right, and we’ve done that.”
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Mr Keate, who owns the Keating Cycleways company, said the initiative was part and parcel of a wider “crisis of confidence” in cycling.
“This is not the result of the government doing nothing, it’s the result not of the Government doing nothing but simply not doing anything,” he added.
“You have a crisis of confidence in our country.”‘
It’s a great idea’The scheme will see drivers have to wait until the cyclist is crossing before they can use the lane, but it will allow them to cross if the cyclist’s speed is “significantly higher than that of the other traffic” and they have to turn left at the red light.
The scheme was announced last year, and Mr Keates said he was “very pleased” with how it had progressed so far.
“It’s certainly a very good idea,” he concluded.
“The key is it has to be a gradual process.”
What’s the cost?
Currently, drivers can use bike lanes on one lane when cyclists aren’t on bikes.
But the new scheme is set to see drivers get a green light to use both lanes at once.
Drivers can still use one lane to overtake cyclists if it’s safe to do that, but drivers will have to slow down as soon as they see the cyclist.
Mr Kebayes hopes that drivers will be able to use their bike lanes to pass other traffic when there is no traffic on the street.
“What you’ll see is you’ll be able [on the bike] when you want to pass another vehicle, so you’ll get a good signal and it’ll be a safe ride,” he explained.
“When there’s traffic on there, you’ll have to do a little bit of manoeuvring.”
That’s something that the police will be monitoring closely.
“What other cities have done?
In April, Melbourne became the first city to launch a new bike lane scheme.
The scheme is currently in use in Port Melbourne and the CBD, with motorists able to pass bikes on the other side of the bike lane.
The city said it had been working with bike lanes experts to see if other cities could replicate the scheme.
In February, Adelaide became the second city to install bike lanes in their CBD, which have since been in place in parts of the city.