Council’s drive to get you walking to work

A Wollongong City Council pedestrian plan is looking at ways to encourage residents to incorporate more walking into their work commute. Picture: Sylvia Liber
A Wollongong City Council pedestrian plan is looking at ways to encourage residents to incorporate more walking into their work commute. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Wollongong workers love their cars – around four out of five commuters drive to work each day.

This comes from the Wollongong City Council draft pedestrian plan, which sets the challenging task of getting more people out of their cars and on their feet.

The draft plan includes Census data that shows between 1991 and 2011 the numbers of commuters catching the bus or train, carpooling or walking – have all fallen or remained stagnant.

"The most recent results show some 80 per cent of commuters in the city of Wollongong drive their cars to work.”

Wollongong City Council

Meanwhile car use – which was already high in 1991 at 70 per cent of all trips – has increased.

“While there has been a fall in the use of sustainable transport modes, such as public transport, carpooling and walking, there has been a corresponding rise in car use,” the draft strategy states.

“The most recent results show some 80 per cent of commuters in the city of Wollongong drive their cars to work.”

The draft plan aims to address the factors that deter people from walking around the city rather than driving.

These include looking to create pedestrian-friendly places and make walking safer, easier and more convenient.

“By reducing commuter’s reliance on motor vehicles, there will be less peak traffic congestion in most activity centres in the city, and a reduction in traffic congestion, air pollution and lost productivity,” the report stated.

The report’s aim is to incorporate walking into a component of a trip – such as walking to a train station or bus stop – rather than it necessarily being the sole mode of transport .

This could also be achieved by ensuring car parks are located away from people’s offices, which would also bring cost benefits to business.

“Another benefit is the opportunity that is created for walking between the car park and the workplace, resulting in more activity on city streets and greater physical activity for the working population,” the report states.

It also looks at measures that could increase the number of children who walk to school each day.

The Wollongong City Council draft pedestrian plan 2017-21 is on exhibition until mid-September.