$7 million will be spent over the next 12 months upgrading the New England Highway Cycleway.
$7 million will be spent over the next 12 months upgrading the New England Highway Cycleway. Scott Powick

Government spends $7 million to encourage bike riding

A CYCLE trail is the Darling Downs is set to undergo a $7 million upgrade as part of a program to get people outdoors and more active.

The State Government will spend $7 million over the next 12 months on the New England Highway Cycleway under the Cycle Network Local Government Grants program.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said more than $37 million would be invested into bike riding infrastructure on the state-controlled transport network in 2018-2019, and more than $125 over four years.

Cycleways in Gatton and Warwick will also be funded under the program, Mr Bailey said.

More than $14 million will also be invested to support 29 local governments across the state deliver 56 new bike riding projects.

"Projects to receive funding from this grant program include the design of more than 1km of shared path along Parker St from the Cunningham Highway in Warwick and the design and construction of a two-way bike track on Lake Apex Drive in Gatton - the first phase of a north south route in Gatton to connect the town centre with schools and the local hospital," he said.

"We want all Queenslanders to enjoy active and healthy travel in their local communities and make riding a bike their natural choice for short trips.

"We're also providing a solid basis for the state and local governments to work together to make bike riding conditions better.

"We know, on average, every dollar we invest in bike riding infrastructure will return nearly five dollars in economic benefit to Queensland with improved health outcomes, reduced traffic congestion, and lower transport costs."

Councils are awarded funding for bike riding infrastructure on a 50-50 basis.