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Government sets its plans for bicycle lanes

Government sets its plans for bicycle lanes
April 21
13:22 2018

An estimated 7000 kilometres of roads have been constructed and, with further expansion, a dedicated bicycle lane is in Government’s plans.

Minister for Local Government and Infrastructure Parveen Bala revealed this in Parliament yesterday, after questions from Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Mr Bala said this would be physically viable with no constraints such as deep drains and narrow roads.

He said the success of Fiji’s development was very comprehensive because after so long there were plans to revive the use of bicycles in this country.

Mr Bala said Fiji’s development depended on infrastructure that was reliable enough to encourage people and businesses to invest in the future.

“Infrastructure standards are driven by the need for reliability and the core element of the infrastructure is the road network,” he said.

“The Fiji Roads Authority’s (FRA) goal is to provide an effective and sustainable land network to the Fijian people, which the FijiFirst Government was doing.”

He said in return the people would gain easy access and travel safely to their destinations and the subject of a bicycle lane had been discussed in few forums after COP23 in Bonn, Germany.

He said in this regard FRA with other stakeholders identified the following areas:

ν The greater Suva transportation areas; and

ν Nadi Lautoka, Nausori Korovou, Labasa Savusavu and all urban centres.

“The studies will commence in the next financial year. However, in the 2015 household travel survey the technical report highlighted that less than 0.1 per cent of the sample data of respondents use bicycles as a main mode of transport by area,” Mr Bala said.

“This is in comparison to more than 42 per cent of respondents who use buses, carriers, minibus, taxi and other forms of vehicles as the main mode of transport.”

Ro Teimumu asked Mr Bala if the Government had plans to construct bicycle lanes to ease traffic congestion and minimise pollution with the increase in the number of vehicles on our roads.

She said shipping vessels continued to offload cars on the Suva Wharf and if the pattern continued this would be a concern.

Mr Bala said Opposition MPs were against people having cars. He said these were the right of the people and the Government would not stop anybody from purchasing vehicles. He said the Government had allocated millions of dollars to create four lanes considering the number of cars coming into the country.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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