It’s not that far, don’t take the car and walk the (active) talk

By Tyla Harrington

CAMPASPE Shire Council is encouraging people to ditch the car and start walking or cycling as part of its latest strategy.

Mayor Adrian Weston said the draft active transport strategy was developed by analysing local demographic data along with on-site observations, community meetings, drop-in sessions and the use of the interactive mapping tool, CrowdSpot.

‘‘The strategy outlines ways to evolve our townships to encourage more people to walk and cycle with less dependence on car use. It also provides council with a clear, cohesive approach to decision-making and investment,’’ Cr Weston said.

‘‘With a growing population of obese people in Campaspe, 33 per cent versus the state average of 19 per cent, this strategy is a very important initiative for our region. More physical activity can help us feel better physically and mentally.’’

Three key focus areas have been identified which are broken down into initiatives that form specific actions. The focus areas include getting to school by walking and cycling; creating walking and cycling towns; and connected and liveable developments.

‘‘Actions are categorised into short, medium and long-term stages in a council driven steps approach. Also outlined is how a ‘gold standard’ delivery approach could be implemented if appropriate funding and support is obtained,” Cr Weston said.

‘‘Additionally, a quarter of Campaspe residents live less than 2.5km from their workplace and almost half live less than 5 kilometres. Despite these large numbers of people, 92 per cent still choose to drive their car to work.

‘‘Making our townships more conducive to active transport is of upmost importance.’’

People have until 4pm on Friday, May 24 to comment on the strategy which is available on council’s website and customer service centres.