Photo: Heb

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BY CHRISTOPHER HARRIS

The Greens have said the narrow defeat of a disallowance motion on Tuesday in NSW Parliament shows that contempt for the government’s new bike laws are widespread.

The laws, which include steep hikes in fines for cyclists, as well as a proposal to make carrying identification mandatory for riders, has angered cycling groups.

On Tuesday, Greens upper house member Mehreen Faruqi, Independent Alex Greenwich and Labor’s Penny Sharpe launched a disallowance motion. It was narrowly defeated 17 to 22 votes, but Ms Faruqi said there was a cause for hope.

“There is growing opposition to the Roads Minister and NSW government’s anti-bike agenda,” she said in a statement.

“People can see that the government’s obsessive focus on punitive measures such as through jacked-up fines and requiring photo identification is completely misguided.

“The photo ID rule can still be defeated. This rule doesn’t take effect until 1 March next year, and with a mounting community campaign we can win.

“We will keep pushing for solutions that will actually work and make our cities and regions more liveable. At the heart of this will be extensive bike infrastructure,” she said.

Bicycle NSW CEO Craig Richards said that cyclists were being treated as “second class citizens.”

“Today’s outcome shows how tough things are for bike riders in NSW and why we need to stand together. Ripped up bike lanes, heavy handed police treatment and now unjust fine increases; we’re being treated as second class citizens,” Mr Richards said.

He said there was no evidence that increasing fines would increase safety, and he said with increasing health concerns, the state should encourage cycling.