Pro-bike candidates for RACT Board?
As you may recall, there is currently an election running for the RACT Board. We ran an email survey of the seven candidates for the four available Board positions.
The questions we asked were:
|Referring to the current RACT policy on Active Transport, why do you think the recommendations in relation to bike riding are not as positive as those for walking, and what would you improve?|
|What has RACT done in the last year to support Tasmanians who are choosing sustainable and active every day transport modes such as bicycles and e-bikes? Your comments?|
|In the coming year, how do you think RACT could play a positive role in promoting the development of safe, separated space for everyday riding?|
Six of the seven candidates responded to the survey.
Of the six candidates who responded, we looked for evidence that the candidate appreciated and/or were concerned about the deficiencies in the policies of the RACT on Active Transport. In addition, that they were prepared to take a more proactive role to improve the RACT's relationship with the riding community.
As a result, our recommendation to RACT members who are keen to see the RACT to take a more proactive role to promote the development of safe, separated space for everyday riding, is to vote for the following candidates:
- Bill Harvey (new candidate)
"the culture within RACT does not strongly reflect the growing significance of bike riding and the need to be proactive towards increasing infrastructure rather than taking a reactive, evidence based approach".... "My intent here is to develop a corporate attitude and culture that includes healthy transport options as one of the organization’s responsibilities rather than seeing it as the responsibility of other organizations".
- Damon Thomas (new candidate)
"My recommendation would be that the bicycle network and the RACT join forces in refining any policy position on safe and separated space for every day riding and once developed jointly advocate the agreed position to state, local and Federal governments. The RACT is a respected organisation as is the bicycle network and its voice will be listened to by policy makers. By working collaboratively, cyclists, many of whom are also motorists and members of the RACT, will get the best representation".
- Phillip Jones (incumbent)
"I believe that in the coming year the RACT can play a positive role in supporting that any new road infrastructure be safe for all road users so that there is a physical separation of cyclists , pedestrians and motor vehicles. Also on existing roads, road shoulders should be wide and well defined and 'bicycle friendly ' and should be regularly cleared of stones etc".
- Stuart Slade (incumbent)
"I will ensure that this policy is reviewed with all stakeholders especially representatives from the cycling and walking communities and individuals. I don’t believe it would be too much of a task to include more positive actions for cycling throughout RACT’s policy document on ‘Active Transport’". .... "RACT could play a positive role through: Changing mindsets of governments and developers, that is, getting away from patchy inadequate and unsafe infrastructure to showing that high quality cycle infrastructure leads to high levels of use, safety is increased and all the other great environmental and health benefits".
Of course, whichever candidates are elected, we look forward to working collaboratively with the RACT Board and staff in future. A discussion with the Board about the problems with the current policy would be welcomed.
RACT's current involvement with the riding community
It was interesting to be informed by several candidates that some 15-20 percent of RACT members ride bikes regularly.
The Secretary of the RACT provided all the Board candidates with a list of RACT's current activities which might support bike riders, as follows:
- Lobbied government for safer roads for all road users including separated cycleways where practical in line with published RACT Active Transport Policy
- Undertaken monitoring of key roads for cycle usage
- Supporting Ride2work day with patrol offering basic bike maintenance and staff in attendance
- Bike education and road safety presentations at childcare centres and infant classes
- Bike education programmes supported by grants through the RACT Community Fund
- Partnered with Bicycle Network in an ongoing schools cycling programme under their banner ‘Ride2school’
- Published articles in Journeys magazine to educate drivers and cyclists on correct interaction - promote recommended passing distances as well as promote ARTBIKE programme
- In addition to published articles we have published a number of member opinions/letters on cycleways and cycling in Journeys
- Bicycle Assistance product (breakdown service) as part of Ultimate Roadside Assistance product
We think this range of involvement is quite heartening, and we look forward to seeing this level of support continuing. We are particularly pleased with RACT's strong and active support for Bicycle Network's Ride2School program. RACT and staff were very helpful with their strong support for the inaugural Tasmanian Ride2School project at Strahan Primary School this year.