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Getting more people walking

Getting more people walking

An audit of how good local roading networks and bus and train stops are for pedestrians is among the activities planned to get more people walking, says Greater Wellington Regional Council.

In ten years’ time, Greater Wellington wants 65% of all trips in the Region less than 1km to be walked or cycled, up from the current 44%.

“We want to remove the barriers to people walking, improve safety and get more people walking for short trips,” says Regional Land Transport Committee chairman Terry McDavitt.

The committee has approved a Draft Regional Pedestrian Strategy to address some of the issues, including a pedestrian audit and an investigation into implementing walking school buses throughout the region.

“There has been a lot of excellent initiatives for pedestrians by a number of agencies. But the committee sees a need for regional co-ordination and commitment from those involved, including territorial authorities and Greater Wellington,” Cr McDavitt says.

The journey to work census data shows more people have been walking in the region since 1991, mostly within Wellington City. Overall, the number of pedestrian casualties is going down, mostly in Wellington and Hutt cities. 70% of people feel safe walking in the region, but 40% wouldn’t let their children (under 12) walk to school unsupervised.

“Wellington City has a high number of people including walking in their journey to work – we want to make walking in the central city safe, pleasant and convenient and promote that culture throughout the region. And we want to improve pedestrian safety and perceptions of safety. Programmes like Safe Routes to School and Walking School Buses are excellent initiatives that could be offered throughout the region.”

The Draft Regional Pedestrian Strategy is available for comment until 31 March, 2004. Submitters should state if they wish to be heard. See www.gw.govt.nz or phone 04 381 7779, for a copy. Inspection copies are also available at Greater Wellington’s offices at 142 Wakefield Street, Wellington and 34 Chapel Street, Masterton.

ENDS

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