Page 1628 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 12 May 2015

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DR BOURKE: Minister, could you tell us more about what the government is doing to encourage walking and cycling to and from work within the territory.

MADAM SPEAKER: The Minister for Planning.

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Dr Bourke for his supplementary. The government has a major role to play in encouraging active travel to work in Canberra. We are doing this through investing in walking and cycling infrastructure facilities, signage and lighting to improve connections between work and home and promoting walking and cycling as an attractive alternative to cars. This also has the added benefit of contributing to reducing congestion on roads, improving health and wellbeing through exercise and reducing our environmental footprint.

Canberra has some of the highest walking and cycling rates of Australian cities. The rate of cycling to work in Canberra has tripled in the past 35 years, to a high of 2.8 per cent by 2011. This represents the highest growth of any major city and is well above the national average growth rate. In addition, more than 8,100 people walk to work every day in the ACT, which is 4.9 per cent of Canberra’s journey-to-work mode share.

The ACT’s soon to be released active travel framework will aim to increase the mode share of work trips by walking and cycling. It outlines four key strategies to realise this goal: plan, deliver, encourage and manage. Each of these strategies has a series of principles and actions that have been identified to promote active travel. Priority actions identified through the active travel framework include pedestrian-friendly streets, improvements to end-of-journey infrastructure and improved connectivity between major corridors and activity centres.

The framework highlights that commuter cycling trips utilise on-road cycling facilities more than the recreational cyclists do. In order to encourage active travel on the journey to work, the government is investing in infrastructure that provides for safer on-road journeys, improved ease and efficiency of intermodal connections such as bike and ride, as well as adequate facilities at end-of-journey and transfer locations.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, can you update the Assembly on the Bunda Street shareway and how this particular piece of infrastructure will encourage walking and cycling?

MR GENTLEMAN: With the Bunda Street shareway opened to the public last week, it is a very appropriate time to discuss infrastructure projects that will help people walk and cycle more often. The Bunda Street shareway is all about creating an environment that makes healthy lifestyle choices easier. Its features, including a 20-kilometre per hour speed zone, additional kerb ramps and raised roads to the current footpath level, make walking and cycling an easier travel option.

The shareway is the fourth stage of the Civic cycle loop project, which provides 3.2 kilometres of path that loops around the city. Beyond the city centre a network of community paths, segregated cycleways, on-road cycle lanes, good signage and convenient connections are provided.

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