21 December 2011

A letter from a Lismore resident to her local member has set the wheels in motion for improved mobility for all disabled cyclists in NSW.

Abby Turner, a hearing-impaired cyclist, wrote to Lismore MP Thomas George requesting permission to ride her tricycle on the footpath.

The end result has been the NSW Government granting an exemption for all disabled cyclists to ride on the footpath.

“Abby explained that she has trouble with her balance on a two-wheel bike and hence rides a tricycle. Where possible she uses bike paths, however there are instances when she has to ride on the road,” Mr George said.

“Disabilities, such as deafness, can place the rider at risk on the road, as not being able to hear vehicles in the road environment can be distressing and unsafe.

“I contacted the Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay detailing Abby’s situation and he has used his Ministerial power to grant this exemption to the relevant Road Rule.

“This decision, which comes into effect in February 2012, will make it easier and safer for Abby and other disabled cyclists to get around,” Mr George said.

Mr Gay said under the NSW Road Rules a rider of a bicycle who is 12-years-old or older must not ride on a footpath.

“However, under the Road Transport Act it is within the power of the Minister to grant an exemption to a particular Road Rule,” Mr Gay said.

By granting an exemption, disabled people who ride a bicycle would be able to do so safely on the footpath, provided they carry a letter of exemption from a qualified medical practitioner.

“I have also asked Transport for NSW to investigate the possibility of this amendment being permanently made to the NSW Road Rules,” Mr Gay said.

“We want everyone who rides a bike to feel safe and in control.

“Obviously, when riding on the footpath all cyclists must ride at a safe speed and always be aware of pedestrians,” Mr Gay said.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.