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.
Better Streets is delighted that Victoria has appointed Gabrielle Williams MP as Minister for Public and Active Transport.
Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan said this week: “We want a focus on those last mile connections that make it easy for kids to get to school, make it easier to get to work - there are many benefits to having a focus on active transport.”
We welcome Minister Williams to their new role and encourage them to engage widely with the Better Streets alliance to help achieve Victoria's vision for safe and healthy streets!
Gabrielle Willams MP. Photo source: Gabrielle Williams website (link)
Better Streets met with Transport for NSW to discuss the Oxford Street project, currently known as the Oxford Street cycleway - link for more details.
Better Streets proposed the following:
To provide support for the project and suggestions - fill in the survey
Better Streets welcomes the incoming NSW government and has requested to meet with the new ministers; The Honourable Joanna Haylen MP, Minister for Transport, The Honourable Michael John Graham MLC, Minister for Roads and The Honourable Jennifer Aitchison MP, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, to discuss Better Streets asks and programs that support the asks.
We await a response.