COUNCIL and cyclists are going tandem on a bid to build more riding tracks.
Tamworth Regional Council has opened a community survey calling for locals to have their say on what needs to be added build the city’s reputation as a cycling town.
It could be a potentially pricey project with council eyeing some NSW government grants, but Tamworth Bicycle Users Group president Greg Johnstone said the demand would be there.
“I’m connected to a lot of the cycling community and there’s a lot of evidence that when there is an increase in safe cycling infrastructure people that weren’t riding before, start riding,” Mr Johnstone said.
“Sometimes it’s very much after you build it, you see an increase.”
He said Dubbo’s cycle-ways were seen as a benchmark and many Tamworth-locals travelled there to ride.
Mr Johnstone wanted to see “more cycle-ways, more signage, more places for people to be able to ride their bikes” in Tamworth as a result of the plan.
Council’s senior strategy assets manager Anna Russell said the city’s last bike plan came out in 2014 and it was time for an update with added facilities and the rise of the Tamworth cycling festival.
The survey was opened to all online and Ms Russell said there was no idea too big or small.
“It’s to make sure that the infrastructure we are building is what the community wants,” she said.
“We want to make sure we have the right links between sporting facilities, business areas, schools, aged facilities to ensure that we have a safe accessible cycling network.”
Even if council is unsuccessful in securing government funding, Ms Russell said work could still be done on improving cycling options in Tamworth.
“We are still preparing our forward strategy and we’re looking at other funding options to make sure the network continues to meet the needs of the users,” she said.
The most recent cycling infrastructure completed by Tamworth Regional Council is the Manilla Road Cycleway.
The 2.5m-wide concrete cycleway is 4.2km long from Oxley Vale Public School to Jewry Street.
It was completed last year.
Progress on projects identified in the long-term Tamworth Regional Bike Plan 2014 is dependent on the availability of funding.
Council is currently awaiting the outcome of more than five funding applications through various grant programs.
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