We Ride joins leading organisations in call to make it easier to walk and ride
In a major consensus statement on walking and cycling, We Ride Australia has joined with 13 bike riding, walking, transport, health and research groups to urge the Victorian Government to make it easier for people walk and ride as life slowly returns to normal after COVID.
The statement ‘The Streets are for everyone: a consensus statement to support more walking and bike riding for Victorians’ supports greater investment in an equitable treatment for those who wish to walk and ride every day, whether for commuting to work or school or local trips to shops and services.
We Ride’s Stephen Hodge noted the boom in people riding bikes during COVID was a significant opportunity for all levels of government to build attractive and convenient options for walking and cycling to continue after COVID.
“Australians have re-discovered the benefits of getting out and being active in our local communities during lockdown.
“COVID created a boom in cycling across Australia and globally and it is the biggest opportunity we have had to encourage active travel and ensure everyone can continue to feel able to keep walking and riding,” he said.
The Consensus Statement follows an earlier launch by We Ride of a call to Australians to contact their local governments in support of making the choice to ride a bike easier and was an animated video titled ‘Let’s Keep Moving.’
“Provision of appropriate infrastructure and maintaining low speed environments around our schools and local activity areas are important if we are to maintain this new-found freedom.
“With economic recovery on everyone’s minds, we also know these investments have a very high net benefit and are designed locally, built locally and use locally sourced jobs,” Hodge said.
“We Ride is very pleased to have been able to co-develop this statement with the partners and believe it could be expanded as a national statement to make walking and riding a bike easier for all Australians.”
- Recognise walking and bike riding as an essential part of integrated transport planning
- Prioritise streets for people in residential areas, around schools and shopping strips
- Upgrade cities, regional centres and local neighbourhoods by improving footpaths, bike lanes, crossing opportunities and completing missing links.
- 3 in 4 Victorians said they want local and state governments to adapt infrastructure so more people can walk or ride (VicHealth, Aug 2020)
- More than 1 in 3 Victorians planned to travel more by foot or bike than they did pre-coronavirus, but safety is a barrier for many (VicHealth, Aug 2020)
- 8 in 10 want safer footpaths and facilities such as local shops or parks to be accessible by foot or bicycle (Heart Foundation, Nov 2020)
- More than 8-in-10 people support temporarily removing car parks to make way for pop-up bike lanes and wider footpaths around their local area (RACV poll, May 2020)
- 9 in 10 Australians support the installation of temporary bike lanes in their local area to increase safety for people riding bikes for transport (Amy Gillett Foundation poll, June 2020).
The Streets are for everyone: a consensus statement to support more walking and bike riding for Victorians was prepared with input from a working group which includes Amy Gillett Foundation, Bicycle Network, Cycling and Walking Australia and New Zealand, IPAN – Deakin University, Heart Foundation, Monash University – School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Municipal Association of Victoria, ORIMA research, Parents’ Voice, Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), VicHealth, Victoria Walks, We Ride Australia.