Go for a ride and you can be a role model

By Tyla Harrington

CAMPASPE Shire is dreaming of an active future where transport such as walking, cycling and scooting is the way to go when it comes to short journeys.

That could include upgrading footpaths and infrastructure around town, though that detail is down the track.

The new Active Transport Strategy replaces the 2007 walking and cycling strategy and has an aspirational goal of transforming Campaspe communities into national role models for walking and cycling.

Council has its eyes on a gold standard approach to delivering active transport services and infrastructure.

Mayor Adrian Weston said the strategy provided a framework for setting priorities to increase walking and cycling in towns across the shire.

‘‘This could be through identified infrastructure, services or education programs to help residents make active transport their first choice,’’ he said.

‘‘Apart from creating more mobile and connected communities where people can get around more easily and safely, the opportunity to deliver services and infrastructure that will encourage walking or cycling instead of driving, is of high importance to council.

‘‘When you consider that Campaspe’s population has a much higher obesity rate than the state average, 33 per cent compared to 19 per cent, finding tangible ways of improving health and wellbeing outcomes, must be a top priority for our community.’’

The strategy also identifies a roadmap for turning our communities into leaders in active transport innovation and uptake by pursuing large scale changes in our towns to encourage active transport.

But council conceded the strategy was only the first step in turning neighbourhoods into field leaders for walking and cycling. The adoption, however, allows for the preparation of localised infrastructure plans for critical sites and localities in consultation with local communities.