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NSW Coastline Cycleway 2010 Illawarra Survey - Healthy Cities ...

NSW Coastline Cycleway 2010 Illawarra Survey - Healthy Cities ...

Foreword “Reducing

Foreword “Reducing road congestion and introducing cycle ways encourages cycling and walking, improves pedestrian amenity, enables public spaces to be upgraded, humanising a city and adding to the quality of life’ Cr Clover Moore, 2007 Mayor of Sydney The NSW Government aims to build a complete cyclepath, the ‘NSW Coastline Cycleway’, between the borders of Queensland and Victoria. Around 300km of the 1,400km total length has so far been built, including sections of off-road shared pedestrian/cycle paths as well as onroad cycle lanes. In the Illawarra, much of the Coastline Cycleway is complete, but there are a number of missing links and shortfalls such as inadequate signage, route inconsistencies or hazards. The 2010 Illawarra Survey of the NSW Coastline Cycleway, an initiative of the Illawarra Active Transport Taskforce (IATT), aims to provide information and recommendations for a whole of government approach to cycling and walking infrastructure along the coastline of the Illawarra. The survey was conducted by members of the IATT and other interested cyclists. The 70 km route was divided into six sections and participants rode a section each week from north to south. They observed, identified, and documented detailed opportunities for improvement for each section, which are presented in this report. This report includes general recommendations which apply throughout the length of the Coastline Cycleway, detailed recommendations for improving the usability and safety of the pathway along each of the sections, and some recommendations for maintenance specific to each of the three Illawarra local government areas. Since the survey was conducted, some maintenance issues have been rectified due to the close partnership of the IATT with Councils. However, there is much work to be done and not all of the work falls under the jurisdiction of local government. 2

As the necessary improvements fall under the control of a large number of government departments and agencies we hope we can enlist a whole of government approach to efficiently implement them. It is hoped that the opportunities found during the survey can be addressed by the Premier’s Council for Active Living acting as a co-ordinator for this approach. The IATT is convened by Healthy Cities Illawarra, and includes representatives of the three Illawarra local governments - Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama Councils, the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, South-Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health, Heart Foundation, Cancer Council, the Illawarra and Kiama Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) and some of the major Illawarra bicycle businesses. The Taskforce aims to get more people to use cycling, walking or public transport rather than private cars for commuting, shopping and recreation. The IATT has strengthened the position of cycling and walking as a healthier, inexpensive and more sustainable transport option. We hope this report will lead towards further government action to improve, promote and maintain the Illawarra section of the NSW Coastline Cycleway. Illawarra Active Transport Taskforce, representing: Healthy Cities Illawarra, Wollongong City Council, Shellharbour City Council, Kiama Municipal Council, NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, South-Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health, National Heart Foundation, Cancer Council, Illawarra Bicycle Users Group, Kiama Bicycle Users Group and Illawarra bicycle businesses. The benefits of cycling or walking are numerous and remain the same whether the trip is for recreation or transport to a destination. Cycling and walking are practical and fun ways to: reduce the risks of climate change and air pollution; cut traffic congestion; reduce travel costs; and importantly, reduce the risks of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and depression. The British Medical Association reports that the health risks of inactivity are 20 times greater than the health risks posed by a potential cycling accident. In other words it is a greater risk to do no activity than it is to ride a bike. In each of the last seven years Australian bike sales have surged ahead of car purchases. The cycling industry is now worth over 1 billion dollars (Bicycle Industries Australia Ltd, 2006) and cycle tourism is an increasingly popular way for Australians to take time out. Dr Sue Beeton, La Trobe University, calculated that a cycle tourist spends an average of $258 dollars per day – a great boost to regional economic growth. 3

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