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City transport draft plan ignores motorcycles

How to ride safely in heavy traffic lane filtering happiest commuters commuting plan

Motorcycles are not mentioned once in the 128-page Brisbane City Council draft transport plan, yet bicycles are mentioned 25 times.

It is indicative of continued government ignorance of the advantages of motorcycles to traffic flow, air pollution levels, parking accessibility and less strain on existing infrastructure.

However, not all councils are as ignorant as Brisbane.

Melbourne City Council’s transport plan actually encourages motorcycling as a “sustainable form of transport, which assists in reducing traffic congestion”.

And the Motorcycle Council of NSW worked with the City of Sydney to develop a transport policy that addresses the needs and concerns of riders in the CBD.

Footpath parking threat bays plan
Footpath parking in Melbourne

Council contact

Motorbike Writer contacted several relevant Brisbane councillors and planning, transport and infrastructure committee chairs to ask why motorcycles are ignored in the plan while bicycles are targeted.

So far, the only reply is from Chairman for Infrastructure Cr Amanda Cooper who says submissions are accepted from all transport users, including riders.

She didn’t address why motorcycles were not mentioned in the draft plan.

MRAQ comment

Motorcycles Riders Association of Queensland president Chris Mearns says it is “extremely disappointing” that motorcycles and scooters are again ignored in another level of Government planning.

MRAQ president Chris Mearns Ride to Work Day RACQ plan
MRAQ president Chris Mearns

“This lack of inclusion is happening at all levels of Government starting at Federal level which continually ignores two-wheel powered transport in the mix for transport plans with the lack of consideration then trickling down to all other levels,” he says.

He points out that the draft plan states: “Traffic congestion is a major cost to business and industry. Road management and travel demand strategies aim to free up road transport capacity for more efficient movement of commercial and freight transport.”

“It is hard to understand why two-wheeled powered transport is not included as it offers considerably reduced vehicle space on the road as well as better fuel efficiency with corresponding pollution reduction,” Chris says.

“As the plan is focussed on the CBD and other business areas and with the clear goal of achieving a reduction in personal vehicle mass the use of two-wheeled powered vehicles seems opportune.

“With other capital cities now including motorcycles and scooters into their forward planning it is the right time for the Brisbane City Council to review the current plan proposal and to include these realistic alternatives as part of the solution instead of completely ignoring them.”

Bicycle fixation

Brisbane City Council transport draft plan ignores motorcycles

It seems BCC has a fixation on bicycles with their 25 references to them in the draft transport plan.

That’s probably because BCC persist with their ill-conceived and little-patronised CityCycle bike hire scheme.

These yellow hire bikes clutter the footpaths and lose about $1m a year in ratepayer revenue despite having Lipton sponsorship.

There is actually one mention of “scooter” in the draft plan. However, it refers to children’s push scooters!

To their credit, BCC has been working on securing more free footpath parking for motorcycles.

Brisbane CBD motorcycle parking plan
Brisbane CBD motorcycle parking

Cr Cooper points out that “Council has nearly doubled the number of new free motorcycle parks in the CBD and installed dedicated motorcycle parking bays and lockers in Council’s King George Square Car Park”.

However, BCC is still well behind its own targets for motorcycle and scooter spaces.

Draft plan

Brisbane is inviting the public to have their say on their draft transport plan.

We recommend all riders – whether they live in Brisbane or not – have their say.

If you live interstate, there is every possibility that at some time you will be up this way and be affected by Brisbane’s transport planning policies.

And let’s face it … everyone wants to move to Brisbane, anyway!

So if you have a few minutes, CLICK HERE and please have your say on how motorcycles can help Brisbane’s future.

It’s not a questionnaire with loaded questions, but simply an opportunity to have your say and you don’t even have to provide a real name or any postal address, just an email address.

Brisbane City Council transport draft plan ignores motorcycles

Online submissions

Motorbike Writer filled out their online feedback. Rather than a long-winded submission, we provided the following which you may like to use as a guide.

Why is there no mention of motorcycles and scooters in your 128-page transport plan when they are considered so vital that Sydney and Melbourne councils have special two-wheel transport policies?

The transport advantages of motorcycles are manifold:

  • They ease demand on parking spaces;
  • Lane filtering rules improve traffic flow;
  • Motorcycles and scooters reduce overall traffic emissions; and
  • They ease pressure on existing infrastructure as they have a low impact on pavement and reduce the need to widen existing roads.
  1. Pound for pound most motorcycles actually pollute more than most cars do due to the difference in how the engines operate (motorcycles are more like formula one racing engines than the average car engine) also cars can be far more fuel efficient if you compare the fuel used per unit of work done by a car full of passengers as compared to a solo rider.
    But when you only have your self to transport and you spend less time doing it than a car stuck in traffic motorcycles are the clear winner on the fuel efficiency and pollution reduction scale even when you compare an old two stroke banger to a modern micro car.

    1. I agree. Carpooling is very efficient but very difficult to organise.

      Submitted my suggestions to the BCC.

  2. …A couple of things.
    When ‘Can-Do’ ran the city, he brought the yellow pushbikes in. The tourists didn’t use them. I’ve only ever seen a handfull of asian tourists actually riding them, (sans helmets) ((which is another issue, health wise))
    But mostly, they’re just not being used.
    When Ray Smith ran for Lord Mayor a couple of years ago, he pledged to get rid of them & sell them off shore where they’re much needed. …in order to re-claim some much needed real estate for parking.
    Sorry Ray, you didn’t get in 🙁
    …Then, what happens when Lipton pulls out? Who’s paying for management & maintenance? …I guess the rate payers are. I believe Ray had the right idea, otherwise send them all to scrap metal & re-reimburse the rate payers.

  3. Imagine where motorcyclists would be if we had a lobby group that was as powerful as the pushbike lobby group. I will remind pushbike riders that they are not road users. Road users have a licence to operate the registered vehicle that is being used on the road. Everyone else is a pedestrian.

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