What will Active Transport Strategy achieve?
• The Active Transport Strategy will provide a framework to enable and encourage residents to walk and cycle more.
• The strategy will play a key role in increasing the Shire’s environmental sustainability.
Why do we need an Active Transport Strategy?
Walking and cycling offer significant economic, environmental, social and health benefits for the
Colac Otway Shire (COS), which like most municipalities is facing increasing problems and
costs related to congestion, accidents, loss of amenity and space, noise, obesity and heart
disease and energy consumption.
Walking and cycling are low-cost, low impact and highly accessible modes of travel, with significant health benefits. They are the most ‘human’ forms of transport available, creating virtually no negative impact in urban environments and offering immense benefits to the individual and society.
Who should take an active interest in Active Transport?
• Colac Otway Shire residents generally
• Local walking and cycling enthusiasts
At its April 2013 meeting, Council endorsed the Draft Colac Otway Active Transport Strategy to be put on public exhibition inviting comment and feedback from the community. The purpose of the Strategy is to establish justifiable strategic directions for the planning, provision, development, preservation and management of alternative methods to private vehicle transportation based on clear evidence of community demand and sustainable asset management outcomes. The Strategy will provide recommendations, strategic directions and policy outcomes that address immediate and longer term community needs (i.e. over the next ten years).
The aim of the Strategy is to get more people walking and cycling as a form of transport and recreation. The Strategy also aims to create a physically and socially supportive environment for walking and cycling across the Colac Otway Shire. Such an environment will support a diverse cross section of the community to use walking and cycling to access a range of key destinations including shopping, education, recreation and employment.
The development of the Strategy has been based on a behavioural change framework, which has the benefit of having a broader consideration of the physical, social, individual and political factors that ultimately influence people’s decision to walk and cycle. An incremental approach is proposed, where the community are encouraged and enabled to gradually increase their participation in walking and cycling by replacing some of the local trips they normally make by car. The development of walking and cycling networks and associated facilities has focused on enhancing access to key local destinations, including schools, shopping strips, parks and train stations.
The Strategy has been prepared within the framework of relevant State and regional policies and is consistent with other policies and strategies of the Colac Otway Shire.
Walking and cycling offer significant economic, environmental, social and health benefits for the Colac Otway Shire (COS), which like most municipalities is facing increasing problems and costs related to congestion, accidents, loss of amenity and space, noise, obesity and heart disease and energy consumption. Walking and cycling are low-cost, low impact and highly accessible modes of travel, with significant health benefits. They are the most ‘human’ forms of transport available, creating virtually no negative impact in urban environments and offering immense benefits to the individual and society.
The Strategy proposes three overarching goals:
• Healthy People
The Strategy aims to support the health and wellbeing of the Shire’s residents by enabling and promoting physical activity through walking and cycling for transport and recreation.
• Healthy Communities
The Strategy aims to support the health and sustainability of local communities through the provision of enhanced walking and cycling infrastructure, which will encourage more people onto the street supporting social interaction while reducing reliance on car-based travel for local trips.
• Healthy Economy
The Strategy aims to contribute to the health and sustainability of the local economy by supporting local cycling tourism and local businesses.
The aim of the Strategy is to provide strategic directions and policy outcomes that address immediate and longer term community needs over the next ten years for greater levels of participation in walking and cycling for transport and recreation.
Through the research, discussions with key stakeholders and via consultation with the community, the Strategy identifies the following issues and opportunities:
Top 3 Barriers for existing cyclists
• Sharing the road with motorised traffic.
• The lack of safe, connected and attractive bicycle lanes.
• The lack of appropriate bicycle parking facilities.
Top 3 Motivators for existing cyclists:
• Health and well-being - general fitness.
• Fun and enjoyment.
• Relaxation and stress release.
Top 3 Barriers for existing walkers:
• The lack of footpaths.
• The poor connectivity of footpaths to key destinations.
• Perception that it is unsafe to walk at night.
Top 3 Motivators for existing walkers:
• Health and well-being - general fitness
• Fun and enjoyment
• Relaxation and stress release.
The Strategy presents a number of actions to address the above issues and opportunities.
The actions have been categorised as follows:
• Infrastructural: covering active transport facilities (e.g. bicycle lanes, footpaths and way finding).
• Behavioural: covering behaviour change programs.
• Policy and Regulation: covering land-use planning, enforcement and speed limits.
• Promotional: covering the marketing of active transport.
• Leadership: covering the role of the Council as role models and leaders in active transport.
These issues, opportunities and actions are explained in detail in the Strategy.
The development of the Strategy has been based on significant community consultation. An Issues and Opportunities Paper was prepared, which outlined key issues and opportunities relating to Active transport that were identified from existing Council documents and other sources.
• Key stakeholder meetings
• An online community survey of walking and cycling participation.
• Distribution of a hard copy survey at 15 different “community hub” locations across the municipality.
• Community talk shops in Birregurra, Colac (part of the “Fun in the Square Event” at Memorial Square) and Apollo Bay (part of Australia Day activities).
• Feedback from several community groups and key government agencies.
• Written submissions.
Click here for a full Media Release or download the final endorsed Strategy below.