Walking and Bike Riding Resource Hub

Walking and bike riding are important parts of the transport system and are growing in importance and popularity. There are also significant mental and physical health benefits gained from walking and bike riding.

Rear-view of person riding a bicycle into the sunsetOur 2020 survey of Victorian councils found that more than 80% of councils have a walking and/or cycling plan, and that more than 90% of councils plan to deliver walking and cycling improvements each year.

This hub is aimed at improving the capability of local government to plan, design, deliver, activate and evaluate walking and bike riding programs and projects.

The MAV has partnered with VicHealth to address barriers and encourage behavioural change to get people moving in a safe and healthy way. Through our research, councils have told us they need more support in this space particularly at this time when traffic volumes are reduced and active transport increasing. That’s why we’ve developed this hub to give council officers specific, practical information to help implement walking and bike riding projects.

Data, case studies and evidence have been pulled together across metropolitan and regional Victoria, Australia and internationally to inform councils’ decision-making for walking and bike riding projects.

The material has been collated specifically for council officers working in infrastructure, engineering, health promotion, community development and transport to guide the design and delivery of active transport infrastructure and behavioural interventions. Considering and responding to the impacts of Covid-19, now is also a great time for trials and pop up treatments.

Details of our current Transport Advocacy Strategy 2022 include activity to support more investment in walking and bike riding.

If you have any suggestions or would like to provide an example, please email Geoff Oulton on goulton@mav.asn.au or call 0419 766 999.

Walking & Bike Riding - Infographic

MAV Walking and Bike Riding

Published April 2021

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and VicHealth have been working together since July 2020 to support Victorian councils to deliver projects that encourage walking and bike riding. A survey was conducted in August 2020, and mid-project in February 2021 to evaluate its success.

Council actions last 12 months

  • 68% car park removal*
  • 43% pop up parklets
  • 30% speed limit reduced*
  • 23% new strategies / plans

*In conjunction with outdoor dining

Council actions NEXT 12 months

  • 90% Improved walking infrastructure
  • 83% Improved bike riding Infrastructure
  • 36% Speed Limit Reduced in high Pedestrian areas

What has helped?

COVID-19 has been a catalyst to improve local infrastructure and work in collaborative partnerships

  • two thirds of respondents utilised the MAV online walking and bike riding resource hub
  • developing & sharing local case studies have helped council staff
  • stronger relationships with the department of transport are welcomed, and remain crucial

Barriers

  • Lack of funding - 83% of councils identify funding as a critical barrier
  • External approvals - 46% have been impacted by external approval issues

Next steps for MAV

  • Advocating for more funding
  • Updating online resource hub
  • Delivering webinars on regional projects, engagement and partnerships to support councils

Read the full survey reports online at the MAV Walking and Bike Riding Hub.

Funding for Victorian councils

NameOpenCloses
No grants programs available at this time   

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Upcoming Webinars

In the lead up to the State election, this webinar will provide information on recent and current advocacy activities, ideas and resources to support councils get more people walking and riding more often.

Monday 3 October 2022: 12 noon – 1.00pm

Tuesday 11 October 2022: 10.30am – 3.30pm

(Note that this VicHealth event will run from 10.30am to 3.30pm, with the Webinar running from 10.45am to 12.15pm as part of the forum.)

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Consensus Statement

MAV was pleased to be a part of a group of organisations that developed the Consensus Statement (PDF - 561KB) on walking and bike riding.

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Victorian government emission reduction pledge for transport

The Victorian government action on climate change includes emission reduction pledges for seven key areas including transport. The transport sector pledge (PDF - 1.19MB) includes the important target of increasing active transport mode share from the current 18% to 25% by 2030.

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Submission

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Past Hub Webinars

Our webinars included speakers and case studies from across local government in Victoria and encourage questions and discussion.

Webinar recordings and presentations

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Australian Government budget announcements

NameOpenCloses

Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program
Funds can be applied to eligible walking and bike riding projects. Through the 2020–21 Budget, the Australian Government announced a $1 billion extension of the 2020 LRCI Program, following strong community and local government support. It will help local councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects across Australia, supporting jobs and the resilience of local economies to help communities bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic. LRCI Funding Allocations (PDF - 285KB) are determined by formula and factor in road length and population.

1 Jan 2021 N/A
Black Spot Program – funding and program unchanged   
Road Safety Program - state-based funding (80:20 for regional, 50:50 for urban areas)   
Building Better Regions - supporting regional tourism (PDF - 478KB)  

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Feedback from councils

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and VicHealth have been working together since July 2020 to support Victorian councils to deliver projects that encourage walking and bike riding. A survey was conducted in August 2020, and mid-project in February 2021 to evaluate its success.

2021 Survey Results

The mid-project evaluation survey highlighted a number of exciting outcomes. You can read the Walking and Bike Riding Webinars Survey Report (PDF - 259KB) and the Walking and Bike Riding Project Survey Report (PDF - 311KB) for the full results.

Key findings from responding councils include:

  • COVID-19 has been a catalyst to improve local infrastructure and work in collaborative partnerships
  • Two-thirds of respondents utilised the MAV online Walking and Bike Riding Resource Hub
  • Developing and sharing local case studies have helped councils
  • Stronger relationships with the Department of Transport are welcomed, and remain crucial
  • Funding and external approval issues are key barriers for councils.

2020 Survey Results

MAV conducted an initial survey with councils in 2020 to understand the activity occurring and barriers encountered when developing walking and bike riding projects. You can read the MAV survey summary (PDF - 552KB) and MAV survey results (PDF - 814KB) for the full results.

The survey received an 85% response rate, and the main barrier was funding. Some of the other key findings include:

  • More than 80% of Metro Councils said approval processes was a barrier to delivering walking and cycling improvements
  • Around 50% of councils reported they are planning to deliver more walking and cycling projects in the next six months
  • Around 50% of metro councils are planning to undertake behaviour change campaigns yet only 10% are in regional Victoria.

This feedback from local councils has strengthened MAV’s advocacy to state government and its support to councils. MAV is now working with Department of Transport on improving project approvals processes.

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Walking and bike riding stakeholders

Local government works with many state government and non-government organisations to deliver walking and bike riding outcomes. Here are two snapshots of key stakeholders and programs relating to walking and bike riding. These are not exhaustive lists but aim to show the range of organisations that may influence projects; either through policies, approvals, funding, advice or other support.

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Improving metropolitan walking and bike riding project approvals – DoT contacts

MAV’s survey of councils identified approvals as a barrier in metropolitan Melbourne. Following discussions with MAV, DoT has agreed that the 3 metropolitan regional directors are your best escalation point if you have any approvals issues regarding walking and bike riding-related projects. Their contact details are:

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Victorian council examples

Many councils across Victoria are implementing projects to encourage more walking and bike riding. These MAV case studies highlight some of this great work. MAV will continue to add examples here. You may want to share your council’s great work by submitting your own case study using the template.

Here are some more examples, from news and councils, that include designs and infrastructure to support active transport;

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Victorian strategies and guidance

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Cycling and Walking Australia and New Zealand

Cycling and Walking Australia and New Zealand (CWANZ) is the Australasian lead reference group for walking and bike riding on transport and recreation networks. Members include senior and executive level leaders from all Australian state and territory transport agencies, New Zealand Transport Agency, local government representatives and leading advocacy groups and peak bodies for walking, cycling, health and mobility.

CWANZ provides a collaborative forum across Australia and New Zealand to share knowledge and innovation on strategic initiatives and projects that enhance outcomes for walking and cycling. Their resources include a range of fact sheet:

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National and international strategies and guidance

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Resources

How Can We Get More People Using Active Transport? Active Travel Research Priorities
VicHealth and Monash University collaborated to identify active transport research gaps and priorities.

Victorian LGA Bike Riding Typologies - Monash University
In late 2020, VicHealth and Monash University conducted a study of over 4000 people across 37 local government areas (LGA) in Victoria to understand how many people were interested in riding a bike. Based on survey results, respondents were categorised according to their comfort in various environments.

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Media Coverage

A snapshot of some interesting recent media articles.