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Grant millions for city cycling back on track after bikeway scrapped

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A $3 million state government grant originally set aside for the now-scrapped east-west city bikeway will be spent on other cycling infrastructure projects in the CBD.

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Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor told InDaily that Transport Minister Corey Wingard had confirmed that he would reinvest the $3 million taxpayer grant into cycling projects in the city, with Adelaide City councillors to decide where to spend the money at a meeting next month.

It comes after the council in March voted against going ahead with its long-touted plan to build a $5.8 million east-west bikeway through the city.

The bikeway, proposed to run from West Terrace to Hutt Street via Franklin Street, Gawler Place and Wakefield Street, was to be part-funded by a $3 million State Government grant handed to the council in 2016.

But the majority of councillors voted to halt progress following community opposition and legal threats from ratepayers, who were concerned about car parking and pedestrian safety.

Verschoor said had since had “numerous conversations” with the State Government, including Wingard, about reinvesting the $3 million grant back into the city.

“The Minister has confirmed his commitment to reinvest the $3 million in grant funding to cycling infrastructure in the city,” she said.

“A report is set to be considered by Council in June regarding our bikeways priorities and we will then present a proposal back to the Minister regarding the allocation of the funds.”

It comes after councillors last week voted in favour of a motion put forward by area councillor Franz Knoll calling on staff to produce a “Cycling Infrastructure Strategic Action Plan” that would outline how the council can improve bike access into and out of the city.

The report, which isn’t due to be complete until November, is expected to include a prioritised list of proposed cycling projects and upgrades to “enable better planning for future council investment and external funding bids”.

In a statement, Wingard said the State Government was working with the city council on plans to reinvest the $3 million grant.

“We’re waiting for them to put some options on the table,” he said.

“We look forward to hearing council’s alternative proposals and working with them to increase accessibility throughout the CBD.”

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