Newcastle Cycleways Movement pushes for cycling network to link Newcastle's suburbs

NEWCASTLE Cycleways Movement is confident it can secure state and federal funding to create a $50 million cycling network that would link all of Newcastle's suburbs.

Newcastle council has already committed $15 million to the city's cycleways over the next 10 years and now the community group is about the launch a public appeal for more funds.

Newcastle Cycleways Movement 's Bernard Hockings spoke about the ambitious plans at the Newcastle Institute's June forum last week.

Research shows that the average trip made by Newcastle locals is 5.7-kilometres long, with 87 per cent of trips less than 10 kilometres and 40 per cent of trips less than two kilometres.

He said the network would entice more people out of their cars and onto bikes, freeing up the roads.

Mr Hockings said the time was right to ask for the money, following the recent announcements by the state government to lease Newcastle Port and the state's electrical poles and wires.

He said safety and connectivity should be prioritised for the network to succeed, basing it on the same principles of successful city cycle strategies in Denmark and the Netherlands.

Newcastle council's city centre program manager Tim Askew also spoke at the forum.

He said the council would release an updated action plan in July, after it was forced into a redesign following the announcement by the government to truncate heavy rail in the CBD.

The $1 million pedestrian and cycle-friendly upgrade of Hunter Street was put on hold late last year after it was announced the light rail could run down the road and free up the rail corridor.

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