In October 2012 the Australian Government released "Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport: draft report for discussion". The draft report explores how the Australian Government can work with other governments, business and the community to encourage and support walking and riding as part of the transport systems in Australia's cities and towns. The Department of Infrastructure and Transport is seeking feedback on the report which will guide the Department's policy development process. Submissions are open until 5pm, 31 January 2013.
Walking and riding are fundamental everyday modes of transport and are a vital component of Australia's transport system. Many people walk to local destinations such as their local shops, cafes or services such as the post office or library. Others walk on a daily basis to their place of work or study. Most public transport journeys start or end with a walk to or from the bus or train. Bicycle riding, whilst less prevalent, is also becoming increasingly popular as a form of transport.
Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport poses six questions for discussion:
1. How can we better plan for comprehensive 20-minute walking and riding networks around central business districts, major activity centres and major education and health campuses?
2. How can we improve access to public transport (train stations, bus, tram and ferry stops) through better walking and riding connections? What are the roles of local, state, territory and Commonwealth governments?
3. How can the Australian Government, through its various programs, encourage better planning and building of networks for walking and riding?
4. How can we ensure that appropriate infrastructure for walking and riding is included when other transport infrastructure is being constructed so that we can avoid costly retrofitting at a future date?
5. How can governments, businesses and the community work together to leverage infrastructure investment with other programs and incentives to encourage greater uptake of walking, riding and public transport?
6. How can we further achieve consistent standards for facilities, road rules and vehicle design to ensure the safety and convenience of all road users?
The report can be downloaded from the Department of Infrastructure and Transport's website.