Why we need more active travel and how to get it - ACT Greens release discussion paper.


Today Jo Clay MLA has released a discussion paper detailing why we need more active travel and how we get it. 

“Canberrans love active travel. We have the highest level of cycling in Australia and almost everyone uses active travel at some point. Even those who drive most places will still get out of their car and walk or wheel to their final destination.

“We need more active travel. We are in a climate crisis and around 60% of our tracked emissions come from transport. Congestion in Canberra is also a problem and it is getting worse at a rate over three times faster than most Australian capital cities. We have to do more to help Canberrans choose the original zero-emissions transport method of active travel. We need to make active travel fun, accessible and safe for everyone.

“The ACT government has set really ambitious goals for active travel but we are not increasing uptake fast enough to reach those goals. If we want a different result, we need to do things differently,” said Jo Clay. 

“Since November last year I have been speaking with Canberrans who use active travel and community groups like Pedal Power ACT who work in this space. I’m keen to hear more broadly from the rest of the community about what would encourage them to jump on a bike or walk to get where they need to go.

“My discussion paper sets out six steps to help more Canberrans use more active travel, more often. This includes the need to do the following.

  • Plan for active travel and put it at the heart of our city planning and building design.
  • Build and Maintain a really good separated network of footpaths and shared paths and dedicate the equivalent of at least 20% of the roads budget to our footpaths and shared paths.
  • Promote active travel, just as we do for other Government services and programs.
  • Prioritise active travel and remove legislative and planning barriers.
  • Learn what’s working here and in other places.

“It’s been a big week for active travel. On Wednesday, we passed my amendments to make our roads safer for vulnerable users by introducing a $900 fine and three demerit points where a negligent driver causes harm. I was really pleased about this improvement to road safety, but laws are only one small part of our active travel picture. I’m delighted to bring forward this package of ideas. 

“My discussion paper is out for consultation until 30 April 2022. I really want Canberrans to get in touch and let me know what they think about how we can improve active travel. 

“You can contact me at clay@parliament.act.gov.au