MOTORCYCLES and scooters have finally been recognised as a smart transport choice, Australian Motorcycle Council chairman Shaun Lennard said.
Mr Lennard said that the council welcomed comments by federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, who last month released the State of Australian Cities 2012 report in Melbourne and highlighted the benefits of what he described as the ``often-forgotten transport mode''.
``Many of the world's cities are thronged with motorbikes and scooters as people take advantage of this low-cost, low-energy and space-efficient form of transport,'' Mr Albanese said.
``However, in the Australian policy context, they tend only to be mentioned in discussions about safety - this can obscure the fact that they are an important and growing component of the urban transport mix at a time when congestion drags like an anchor on our time and productivity.''
Mr Lennard described Mr Albanese's comments as a massive shift in approach.
``Just last year, the National Transport Commission released its Smart Transport for a Growing Nation report, which failed to mention the growing popularity of motorcycling,'' Mr Lennard said.
``Almost all discussions and reports in Australia referring to alternative and more sustainable transport choices refer to the same trilogy of public transport, cycling and walking.
``We applaud the Launceston City Council for establishing free motorcycle parking bays throughout the CBD, but to really work, this needs to be led at a state and federal level.''
He said the number of people riding motorcycles in Australia had almost doubled in the past decade to more than 700,000.