ACT Budget 2015 Announcement: New initiatives make it easier to get around Canberra

Released 28/05/2015

Joint media release: ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Roads and Parking

It will be easier to walk and ride around Canberra with a series of new initiatives in the 2015-16 Budget, the ACT Chief Minister, together with Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury and Minister for Roads and Parking Mick Gentleman announced today.

Investment in Canberra’s ‘active transport’ network will provide a record $23 million to fund an improved network of bike paths and footpaths and ensure better access to public transport under the ACT’s first Active Travel Plan, also released today. The plan will integrate walking, biking and road infrastructure with public transport to make it easier for Canberrans to get around and be more active.

“In countries around the world, integrated transport networks shape the way cities grow and prosper, generating economic opportunities and jobs, and creating great places to live.  This will be joined up transport where paths, roads and public transport work together to help Canberrans get where they want to go,” said the Chief Minister.

“Providing people with opportunities to make healthy choices is a key priority for the ACT Government and has been recognised in this budget through a number of improvements to walking and cycling paths.”

New funding initiatives within the plan to be announced in the Budget include:

  • $250,000 which will fund the design of an upgrade for new and existing shared paths and cycle infrastructure in and around the Woden Town Centre;
  • $600,000 to construct a new shared walking and cycling paths through Bowen Park, connecting to the Kingston Foreshore and making it easier to ride a loop around Lake Burley Griffin;
  • $1.5 million will facilitate the final design and construction of new road crossings on the busy Sullivan’s Creek cycle path. Crossings will be constructed at Masson Street, Condamine Street and Goodwin Street;
  • $200,000 for the design of Stage 1 of the Molonglo Cycle Highway from the City to Acacia Inlet, a Parliamentary Agreement item;
  • $150,000 towards the design improvements to increase ease of cycling and walking to and from the Kingston Group Centre; and
  • $100,000 committed to Belconnen, West Belconnen and Tuggeranong feasibility studies to identify local walking and cycling path connections.

Mr Rattenbury said that prioritising walking and cycling is key to Canberra’s transport future and that the Government’s new Active Travel Office would oversee implementation of new infrastructure and improvements to help people no matter how they get around.

“Active Travel is a feature of the world’s best cities. The exercise from a walk to the shops, the social benefits from meeting people on the street and the economic and environmental benefits from active travel are clear,” said Mr Rattenbury.

Mr Gentleman today said that the improvements to walking and cycling have arisen from action items within the Active Travel Framework, which outlines the importance of active travel as part of building an integrated transport network.

“Active travel is a key part of the Government’s integrated transport network, which works to ensure all aspects of transport work together to ensure the best outcomes for the community,” Minister Gentleman said.

“Funding initiatives and the Framework will be overseen by the new Active Travel Office, which will improve the coordination and engagement across different arms of Government to better plan, deliver, encourage, maintain and evaluate facilities.

“Good urban planning shapes our neighbourhoods to encourage people to walk, cycle and ride for recreation and social interaction. It provides options for people to walk, cycle, ride and catch public transport to destinations such as school, work and shops. As we encourage urban renewal and develop new suburbs we will be able to further embed active living principles into the city and into the lives of residents.

“The ACT Government maintains over 3,000 kilometres of on and off road cycle paths and footpaths each year and, in 2015-16, will create approximately 35 kilometres of new paths, ensuring Canberrans will continue to have some of the best walking and cycling infrastructure in the country,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Mr Rattenbury said these funding initiatives are essential to encouraging people to use active and sustainable transport options in our region.

“Canberra has one of the best walking and cycling path networks in Australia. The ACT Government is committed to improving this network and exploring other things that make active travel appealing, as part of our plan to ensure that Canberra continues to lead the nation as a place where it is easier to make healthy lifestyle choices” said Mr Rattenbury.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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