Exciting news from Better Streets! We're thrilled to announce a significant achievement in our ongoing efforts to promote active and safe travel for school children in New South Wales. After a series of strategic meetings with ministers, parliamentarians, and participating in pivotal workshops, we have successfully influenced the NSW Government to allocate $10 million towards Active Travel to Schools. This funding is part of the broader $60 million Get Active NSW annual grants program.
A Step Towards Safer, Healthier School Commutes
The funding earmarked for Active Travel to Schools is a game-changer. It opens doors for essential infrastructure developments around school areas. Councils across NSW can now apply for this funding to construct and improve footpaths, shared paths, pedestrian crossings, and potentially develop 'school streets' – zones prioritizing the safety and mobility of young students.
The Role of Better Streets
Our journey to this point has been one of persistent advocacy and collaboration. The Better Streets team, including our member organisations, have been at the forefront to engage in meaningful dialogues with key government stakeholders. Our goal is clear: to ensure that the safety and well-being of our children are at the heart of urban planning and development, especially in school zones. We recommend that 75% of school children should be enabled to walk, ride, scoot or catch public transport to school.
The Future of Active Travel
This funding is not just about infrastructure; it's about fostering a culture of active travel among the younger generation. Encouraging walking, cycling, and other forms of active commuting to school has far-reaching benefits, from reducing traffic congestion to promoting physical health and environmental awareness among students.
Call to Action for Councils, Parents, and Teachers
The first round of funding applications is due by mid-December. We strongly encourage councils to take advantage of this opportunity. But the engagement doesn’t stop there. We also call on parents, teachers, and school communities to think creatively about how this funding can best be used to enhance access and safety around their schools.
While this is a significant milestone, it's just the beginning. We anticipate additional opportunities for funding in the future, aiming to expand the reach and impact of the Get Active NSW program. Better Streets remains committed to advocating for safer, healthier, and more sustainable communities.
Together, let's transform the way our children travel to school, making each step, pedal, or stride a part of a larger movement towards a better, more active future.