Please direct all media enquiries to our Executive Director, Helen Donovan, 0457 006 620.
Today we are pleased to launch our 2022 State Election submission. Walking SA is calling on the next South Australian Government to invest in Safe Streets to Schools. All children should feel safe to walk to school, without risking being injured by vehicles. It is completely unacceptable to have poor walking conditions that do not considers children’s needs within a 2km catchment of our primary schools.
In conjunction with Bike Adelaide and the Heart Foundation we here at Walking SA are urging all levels of government to radically rethink school precincts to prioritise children’s physical and mental health and safety by providing safe, enjoyable walking and cycling routes to school. We're calling for a consistent decrease in speed to a maximum speed limit of 40km/h in local streets and school precincts, with lower speed limits in all dedicated school zones and streets where pedestrians and cars are forced to share space (including streets with narrow footpaths, carparks, and laneways); an immediate increase in funding to local governments to install a network of planned separated bikeways, safe road crossings, and other supporting infrastructure to create safe travel routes to schools; and to move school drop-off zones away from the front gate to decrease the high traffic volumes immediately in front of schools and thereby decrease the risk of collision with a child.
COVID-19 has created a huge increase in walking activity. Walking SA, together with BISA, Bike SA and the Heart Foundation, calls on all local governments to prioritise projects that enable walking and cycling. During COVID-19, more people have chosen to be active every day in local neighbourhoods. Participation in walking and cycling has significantly increased. The provision of footpaths and safe crossings, open space and access to roads in our neighbourhoods is more important than ever. Walking SA encourages prioritisation of projects that enable active, safe and connected communities.
MEDIA RELEASE: If more kids walked to school each day, then they would be more likely to reach recommended physical activity guidelines, be less likely to be overweight and perform better at school. About 80 per cent of five to 17-year-olds do not meet recommended physical activity guidelines. The number of kids using active transport choices to get to school has dramatically declined since the 1970s. These days, almost a quarter of five to-12-year-olds have never walked, cycled, or scooted to school. This October, Walking SA, Department of Transport, Planning and Infrastructure’s Way2Go program and the Heart Foundation are promoting the message that we should be encouraging our kids to walk, ride or scoot safely to school. Not only is it more fun for the kids, it means less cars on our roads, and at drop-off points around schools.
The SA Government has announced an investment in creating the Great Southern Ocean Walk - an upgrade of the iconic Heysen Trail along the Fleurieu Peninsula, connecting Deep Creek and Newland Head conservation parks, and Granite Island Recreation Park. View our response, joint Media Release with the Heart Foundation.