Martin Luther King Jnr once said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” On Thursday 9 July 2015, Pedal Power ACT took its first step with assisting in the development of the ACT’s foundation Active Travel Office.
In a meeting room filled with representatives from Pedal Power ACT, The Heart Foundation, Cycling Promotion Fund and Minister Shane Rattenbury and his team, we started the discussion and development of what the community’s Active Travel Office needs to deliver to provide a service we all deserve.
There are a number of priorities Pedal Power ACT has identified and would like the Active Travel Office to be accountable for. We were provided the opportunity to communicate all of these in a roundtable discussion with our colleagues and industry representatives. More encouragingly, everyone was on a similar page.
The key priorities identified were for the Active Travel Office to lead a coordinated approach in government projects across departments when incorporating the active traveller and to clearly identify initiatives to promote and develop active travel in the ACT.
The ACT Government has established the Active Travel Office to ensure active travel is at the forefront of government priorities. Active travel is a major part of Canberra’s transport future to continue to grow as a healthy and vibrant city.
The ACT Government has a mandate to prioritise sustainable transport in Canberra, and has invested $23M in the recent budget to build active infrastructure for a healthier ACT. These funds prioritise walking and cycle paths and will contribute to the vision for an ACT integrated transport network.
“It will be easier to walk and ride around Canberra with a series of new initiatives committed by the government under the ACT’s first Active Travel Plan. Helping Canberrans to make healthy choices is a key priority for the ACT Government and this will be carried out through a number of improvements to walking and cycling paths,” said Minister Shane Rattenbury.
Active travel encourages and supports greater participation of modes such as walking, cycling and the use of public transport and is not only good for health but good for the environment.
Pedal Power ACT has been a long-time advocate for the need to improve inter-governmental working relations and the announcement of the Active Travel Office is crucial in building and delivering an Integrated ‘Transport Network’ for Canberra.