The recent Greens announcement of a $1 billion over four years spend on cycling specific investments provides an intriguing opportunity to set out how such funding might be allocated in a local context here is SA. Bike SA CEO, Christian Haag does some creative mathematics. 

For this exercise, we’ve looked at a funding level of $25 million per year ($100million total over a four year federal government budget cycle), which in the scheme of things would be regarded as a modest investment given our current transport budget.

There are a number of simple ways to contextualise funding for cycling and we have always considered the well-known “Four E’s” philosophy as a smart way to break funding down into workable bites. The four E’s are “engineering” (or base infrastructure in our language), “encouragement”, “education” and “enforcement”.

The ‘enforcement’ aspect is generally the responsibility of the local policing agency.

An investment of $25million over four years would deliver a terrific set of outcomes for all South Australians who currently ride regularly as well as those who want to but ride but don’t due to a range of personal barriers, such as concerns over road safety.

Such investment would fundamentally “future proof” SA to becoming a truly ‘cycle friendly community’. Lets not forget that the state government has specifically identified  “to Double the Number of People Cycling in SA by 2020” as a key strategic target within the State Strategic Plan.

Here’s how we see this smart investment looking.


Completion of Adelaide’s Greenway’s Networks – $40million.

  • Our Greenway network would see corridors such as the Gawler railway line providing share path access in a similar manner to the recent rail upgrade of the Seaford and the Port Adelaide lines (with more work to be done on both).

State Bike Fund – $3million per annum

  • This existing fund provides local government with the opportunity to seek dollar-for-dollar support for local area bicycle network upgrades (represents a four-fold increase)
  • This fund also aligns with the investments in the metropolitan-wide Greenway network as it encourages local councils to build linkages directly into the ‘spider-web’ of greenways.

Missing links across the arterial road network – $10.7million

  • This fund allocation would start to deal with Adelaide’s famous “disappearing bike lanes” as well as targeted delivery of fully separated bikeways across the metropolitan network.
  • It has to be said that this proposed amount would NOT complete what is a mammoth task, but would go some way to improving safety and getting tens of thousands riding.


We believe that work within the Adelaide City Council precinct should reflect the values and qualities set out in the Adelaide Design Manual ( that ensures high quality “whole of street-scape” development to deliver enhanced small business opportunities.

  • Frome Street South (existing bikeway between Carrington Street and Pirie Street) – $6.4million
  • Frome Street North (Pirie Street to North Terrace) – $5.1million
  • Frome Road (North Terrace to River Torrens) – to be costed…
  • East-West separated bikeway corridor (East-West Terraces) – $6million


Secure undercover bike parking – $500,000

  • Integration of cycling facilities at key public transit nodes is well overdue and spend in this area would be aligned to DPTI upgrades on rail, bus and tram networks
news article

A recent article featuring our vision in the Eastern Messenger


1,000 bicycle BikeShare scheme – $5.2million

  • Across the world BikeShare schemes are transforming transport choice – mode share increases from 2%-7% over four years have been experienced in cities of a similar size to Adelaide.
  • This 1,000 bicycle scheme will service Adelaide City and the surrounding ring councils (out to a 5km radius).


Destination development (infrastructure and marketing) – $12.3million

  • Cycle tourism is valued at $2.4billion to the national economy each year and while SA delivers the premium TDU event, there is opportunity to yield a ‘whole of year’ economic benefit from cycle tourism for both domestic and inbound markets
  • Completion of Amy Gillett Bikeway – $4.5million
  • Completion of Shiraz Trail (Willunga to coast) – $1.5million
  • Bicycle parking and service facilities along the Coast Park path – $2million
  • Mountain biking trail network development and upgrades (Mt Lofty Ranges)- $3.5million
  • Mountain bike destination management/marketing – $800,000


Community based programs that build sustainable cycling behaviours – $1.8million

  • Bike SA’s nationally award winning work in the areas of health intervention programs, crime diversion programs for youth at risk, workplace and school road safety education programs, remote indigenous school health programs.


Bike SA places a high value on the economic return of investments in cycling to ensure that a strong return on such investments are delivered back to the community.

As has been previously reported, the net cash benefit to the Australian economy from an average 20 minute bicycle commute is $21. The bulk of this is in reduced public health costs as well as congestion savings and CO2 emission reductions.

By way of example, there are 10,000 bicycle trips taken through the City of Adelaide ALONE, each week day.

The economic return of just these trips equates to over $25million per year in direct economic benefit.

That’s why we say that investing in the Business of Cycling is Smart Business for us all.

Where would you like to see cycling funding prioritised in your area? Let us know in the comments below.