Supporters of active transport have been buoyed by the recent release of a statement by Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese into how walking, riding and public transport can play a bigger role in Australian mobility.
Almost 200 hundred organisations, businesses and individuals put in submissions which informed the statement.
‘The primary objective of this statement is to articulate the Australian Government’s interests in broadening the range of transport options in our communities: by increasing the share of people walking and riding for short trips; and improving their ability to access public transport’. (see page 10)
The report points to the economic benefits per kilometer walked and cycled. At $2.12 and $1.43 respectively government has the potential to make massive savings – particularly on health and congestion costs.
Identified barriers to active transport included in the statement are:
Lack of continuous, convenient connections; lack of physical safety; lack of personal safety and comfort; lack of awareness; lack of skills; lack of motivation and poor governance. The latter acknowledges the poor integration and coordination across agencies and state and local governments and lack of strategic land use and transport planning.
The identified opportunities include: planning comprehensive networks; Building appropriate infrastructure; providing information and skills training as well as encouraging greater participation.
The statement identifies actions the Australian government will take to encourage active transport. These are:
– including walking and riding when planning for land use and transport
– building appropriate infrastructure for walking and cycling needs
– enabling greater participation in walking, riding and public transport
– coordinating across agencies and levels of government
The ‘Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport: supporting active travel in Australian Communities’ Ministerial Statement can be accessed here