News — December 2000–January 2001
Parramatta-Liverpool RailTrail Opening
The Transport Minister, Carl Scully is launching the new Parramatta-Liverpool Rail Trail on Saturday 2nd December, 12 noon in Cabravale Park near Cabramatta. CAMWESTies will ride to the launch site and the most convenient starting point for most of us would be at Merrylands railway station (east side) at 10am. It's a mostly fabulous ride for the whole family. We urge you to come and show Mr Scully that there are lots of us westie cyclists around and that this cycleway will be well used.
This is a great example of how the RTA and local councils can achieve things when they try. It was completed in a short time-frame with fairly good results.
We have produced a full cycleway audit report. Most of it is very good. Well done to all involved, and let's have more of these projects! Our main gripe is a nasty habit of installing posts and signs where they are going to hurt people, and councils taking shortcuts when implementing the designs.
Oil Prices Still Very High
Crude Oil prices have stayed well above US $30, and have even continued to edge up. This is hitting Western Sydney hard since it has traditionally suffered from poor public transport. The best way to deal with this problem is to reduce our reliance on the sticky stuff. Cycling can play an important role in doing this. Australia Cycling states that 35% of car trips are under 5Km, a distance that takes 10-15 minutes to ride. Cycling infrastructure is a cheap, politically safe approach.
Many analysts and scientists are now expecting an oil crisis from 2005 as world production peaks and we become even more dependent on OPEC oil.
The State Government needs to accelerate the implementation of its BikePlan immediately. It would be particularly smart to integrate cycling with rail and other public transport. (The Parramatta-Liverpool RailTrail is a great start. More, please.)
CAMWEST on Sydney Morning Herald
The 14 Oct issue of Icon, the home computing supplement of the Sydney Morning Herald, covered good cycling web sites. We were very honoured to be included in the list, which pointed to our article on cycling to work.
See the Icon article on cycling sites.
Bay to Mountains ride a huge success
CAMWEST's Bay to Mountains ride was held on Sunday October 29th. It was a huge success, with about 80 riders and 100 people signing up for our free lunch (thank you Bankstown Council).
We held a survey at the end of the ride, which confirmed that our rides are a great way to promote cycling and that people want better bike facilities.
Global Warming Alert
Although they don't scientifically prove anything, the recent extreme weather and floods in NSW (and England) have focused attention on global warming and the conference at The Hague. The conference has made it clear to the world that global warming is a real phenomenum which needs to be taken seriously. The UN's Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that we have "contributed substantially to the observed warming over the last 50 years". Unfortunately, negotiations broke down. Australia needs to do a lot better. Cycling is an easy, cheap, and politically safe way to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Read more:
The Economist, The science
and politics of global warming
"Whatever the outcome at The Hague, science has made at least one thing clear. The problem of global warming is real, and will not be going away any time soon. Nor will the question of how mankind should respond to it."
Parramatta Council Reviews Bike Plan
On Monday 4 September Parramatta Council agreed to review the Parramatta Bike Plan. It is intended that this review be complete in time to have input to Council's budget process for 2000/01. As part of the review the following items are to be included:
- Ongoing funding to contribute to the implementation of the Bike Plan
- Consideration of the appointment of an Accessibility Education Officer whose duties will include cycling education.
- Commitment to promotion and marketing of cycling in Parramatta
- Section 94 funding to contribute to cycling infrastructure
Rides Coming Up!
Don't forget the big one, The RTA Cycle Sydney, on Sunday December 3. This is your chance to safely enjoy the streets of Sydney on your bike - don't miss it!
There is also a launch for the Parramatta-Liverpool RailTrail cycleway on Saturday December 2. The Transport Minister, Carl Scully, will be doing the honours, so it's important you turn up. The recent Bay to Mountains ride travelled along a section of the RailTrail, and we were impressed.
Gong Ride a Wet One
A number of CAMWEST members had signed up for the Sydney to Wollongong, but missed out because of the rain. The ride was cancelled and riders were turned back. Some of us just gave up hope the night before and slept in. Others, however, rode from Engadine to Wollongong. Although wet, they had a good time, especially the stop at the Otford Pie Shop!
CAMWEST Christmas BBQ
CAMWEST recently got together to celebrate the end of another year of bicycle advocacy, with a BBQ and a chat. The year has been a busy one, with great successes for our Tizzana and Bay to Mountain rides, the Parramatta to Liverpool RailTrail cycleway, review of the Parramatta BikePlan, etc.
Have you thought of getting involved? The Olympics showed that there are plenty of keen volunteers out there, wanting to make a difference. Are you one of them? We always need people to push our councils and State Governments to take bikes seriously. The first thing you can do is join our free e-newsletter.
Cycleway extension progress
We continue to work on the connection to the Parramatta Valley Cycle Way from Rydalmere Wharf to James Ruse Drive on the north side of the River, through the University grounds. The underpass under James Ruse Drive is already open.
Liverpool Busway EIS Submission
CAMWEST produced a submission in response to the EIS for the Parramatta-Liverpool Busway, supporting the cycleway along the route. See the EIS online or call 1800 335 742. Download our submission (Word 6.0, 27K).
Disabled Rider a Hero
CAMWEST congratulates Nathan Dann, 28, for the completion of his bike ride from Melbourne to Parramatta (Parramatta Sun, 22/11/00; Parramatta Advertiser, 22/11/00). Nathan was diagnosed with a disability at 22, and now uses crutches and a wheelchair to get around. His bike is a special 'hand-cycle' which he propels with his arms.
His journey raised $100,000 for the Northcott Society, at Parramatta. His aim was to raise awareness of people with disabilities and how much they can achieve.
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