Cyclists pushing for path, not rally

THE Uki Bike Riders group believes it has a more beneficial way to spend the money being allocated towards the World Rally Championship.

The local residents are pushing to have a bicycle lane incorporated onto the Kyogle Road to link Uki and Murwillumbah, rather than damaging the roads through high-impact motorsport.

Covering 350km of roads in the Tweed and Kyogle shires, the Repco Rally Australia, FIA World Rally Championship, is scheduled for September 3-6, pending approval from both councils.

Jo Spiller is just one Uki cyclist keen to see more bicycle paths and lanes incorporated into the area.

“A group of us meet on the last Saturday morning of each month at the Uki Buttery for a short, leisurely road ride,” she said.

“We try to encourage those who have not ridden in recent years, those who feel unsure on our roads and parents with young children to join us.

“We want to encourage people to get their bikes out of the garage and enjoy cycling.”

Despite having many committed supporters who commute to Uki and Murwillumbah, Ms Spiller said many more would join the group if they felt safer on the roads.

“Bicycle paths and lanes fit in with Uki's efforts to be a sustainable community,” she said.

“But we feel the rally does not fit comfortably with many residents in our district.”

Ms Spiller said the rally was the opposite of their ideals, which promoted a safe, healthy, environmentally-friendly and sustainable form of transport and leisure activity.

“With the money allocated towards the three-day event, we could have the infrastructure for bicycle paths and lanes in our district that would be of lasting value to the community and businesses alike.

“We will suffer the degradation to our roads, environment and life- style, with little mon- etary compensation to the local area. The main beneficiaries will be the coastal businesses.”

Ms Spiller said cycling was a strong sport in the district.

“It has growing tourism potential for the Tweed and northern rivers area,” she said.

“We just need the infrastructure which would allow more people to cycle.”

Nine cyclists rode from Rolands Creek Road to the Uki Buttery last month to join 100 locals protesting the World Rally.

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