If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will legislate for a common sense solution. We will make the speed limit for cycling on footpaths 10 kph unless otherwise signposted by the local council.
With more people walking and cycling for recreation, commuting, and as a positive way to promote fitness and a cleaner environment, it’s important that our roads, footpaths and shared paths are safe and the rules for using them are sensible for everyone.
Regulations introduced by the Weatherill Government in 2015 allow cyclists of all ages to ride on footpaths at the same speed designated for the adjacent road.
This means if a street’s speed limit is 60 kilometres per hour (kph), cyclists can ride on the footpath of the same street at the same speed.
This outcome was the Government’s interpretation of recommendations by a Citizen’s Jury established to consider the matter.
The jury however, had recommended that, while cyclists should be able to travel on footpaths when there was no safer alternative, it emphasised that cyclists on footpaths should travel at low speeds.
The government also implemented the rule by regulation rather than legislation, avoiding full parliamentary debate and consideration.
In response, the Liberal Party undertook broad community consultation resulting in 25,000 responses.
While these responses indicated general support for many safety elements of the new regulations, serious concerns were expressed about cyclists riding at high speed on footpaths shared with pedestrians.
These concerns have also been raised by disability advocacy groups including the Royal Society for the Blind.
The RAA also recommended to the Citizen’s Jury that cyclists riding on footpaths be restricted to 10 kph, the same speed limit enforced on mobility scooters.
The Weatherill Government has repeatedly brushed off concerns about safety and speed on footpaths. It has also offered no solutions or assurances about compensation or insurance should a pedestrian be injured by a cyclist who is not insured or cannot be identified.
The State Liberals' Plan
If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will legislate for a common sense solution.
We will make the speed limit for cycling on footpaths 10 kph unless otherwise signposted by the local council.
This would apply as a default speed to footpaths only - not to bike or shared paths. Councils would have the right to adjust regulations and signposting on shared paths and dedicated cycle ways.
A Marshall Government will also ensure that pedestrians injured by a bike are able to make a Compulsory Third Party claim through the Motor Accident Commission in its role as ‘insurer of last resort’ in those rare instances where a collision causes injury and the cyclist cannot be identified.
Access to the Commission’s Nominal Defendant’s Fund will provide reasonable compensation in the same way the Commission already provides access to compensation for people injured in accidents by unregistered/uninsured or unidentified motor vehicles.
While most cyclists show discretion and responsibility, there will always be unfortunate exceptions.