Wyndham City wants to encourage residents to ditch their cars and make more trips by foot or bike under an ambitious plan to make Wyndham the active transport leader of Victoria.

The Wyndham Active Transport Strategy 2020, which was endorsed at this week’s Council meeting, aims to turn walking and cycling into a genuine transport mode of choice for residents going about their daily business.

Wyndham City Mayor and Growth and Transport portfolio holder Cr Josh Gilligan said cities all over the world were embracing active transport as the key to improving traffic flow and creating better communities – and Wyndham is keen to be at the forefront of these changes in Victoria.

“Over in the Netherlands, the city of Utrecht has become a bicycle-first city by developing a connected network of bicycle paths, extensive bike parking and slow traffic speeds,” Cr Gilligan said.

“Meanwhile, Paris has recently converted 650 kilometres of roads into bike lanes to give residents an alternative to car travel and public transport.”

“These places have made a significant investment in dedicated infrastructure to encourage people to make more trips by foot or bike – and this is what the Wyndham Active Transport Strategy 2020 wants to achieve.”

“Our recent experience with COVID-19 has given us a unique opportunity to see what low traffic, low emissions communities look like as our residents have taken to their feet, bikes, scooters and skateboards in droves to explore what Wyndham has to offer.”

“Bikes have been flying off the shelves in our local bike stores in recent months, reinforcing the huge uptake in active travel in our city, and we want to build on this momentum.”

Cr Gilligan said a key component of the strategy was connecting the missing links in our walking and cycling paths that currently make journeys on foot, bike, scooter, wheelchair and the like harder than they need to be.

“Wyndham’s path network, while extensive, is disjointed, of variable quality and not functioning in a way that allows active transport to be the preferred way to get from A to B,” Cr Gilligan said.  

“These missing links can be inconvenient, discourage use of our path network and in some cases prevent people – particularly those with limited and restricted mobility – from using the path network at all.”

“This strategy outlines a long-term plan to address these missing links and create an efficient and convenient active transport network that is well designed, has direct routes and provides connectivity between important landmarks – including public transport hubs and major activity centres.”

“If we want residents to walk or cycle while going about their daily business, the path network must be given the same importance as the road network for cars.”

As part of the strategy, Council will conduct an extensive audit to identify missing links and infrastructure issues within Wyndham’s active transport network, which will be used to inform future capital works programs.

Wyndham City will also use this information to advocate for State and Federal funding to complete paths that are not Council managed.

Council will also ensure that future Wyndham City projects include active transport infrastructure improvements.

Improvements can include lighting, wayfinding signage, public toilets, water fountains, seating, shelter and canopy trees to make the experience more convenient, safer and pleasant for users.

Cr Gilligan said the Wyndham Active Transport Strategy 2020 identified a number of priority projects that would improve connectivity around Wyndham, one of those being completing the Melbourne Water Pipeline shared path.

“Once complete, this path would provide direct, off-road connections to Tarneit train station, Tarneit Gardens Shopping Centre, schools, community centres, reserves and the Truganina Employment Precinct, giving residents a viable off-road alternative,” Cr Gilligan said.

“The Wyndham Active Transport Strategy 2020 is another example of how this Council is working hard to deliver a liveable city, not just a big city.”

“This strategy stems from extensive community consultation, and I would like to thank everyone who provided feedback on this important document.”

Find out more by reading the strategy at www.wyndham.vic.gov.au

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