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Strong Community Support for Walking Prompts Council to Double Footpath Budget

Source: Northern Beaches Council
Posted: 25 Jul 2018
Northern Beaches Council is to double its 2018-2019 spend on footpaths following exhaustive community consultation where residents consistently expressed a high level of interest in upgrading and extending the current walking network.

Northern Beaches Council’s will allocate a total of almost $22.5 million on pathways in 2018-2019, including $3 million on new footpaths.

Council has just released the 2018 Northern Beaches Walking Plan Community Engagement Report - designed to guide planning for an inclusive, accessible and safe walking network for the Northern Beaches area.

“The goal of the Northern Beaches Walking Plan community engagement process was to get comment from diverse groups within the community to help us achieve an integrated walking network across the Northern Beaches,” Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said.

Council was particularly interested in capturing community feedback about:

  • pathways with missing links and pedestrian connections
  • suggestions for new footpaths
  • safety improvements
  • greater accessibility, and
  • opportunities for improved amenity.

“Residents told us loud-and-clear that they wanted more footpaths - so we are doubling our footpaths allocation for the financial year,” Mayor Regan said.

“The high level of interest shown by the community in upgrading and extending the current walking network shows that residents are clearly interested in pedestrian infrastructure - and are interested in the ongoing development and implementation of the Northern Beaches Walking Plan.

“There is also clear community interest in encouraging school-aged children to use footpaths to commute to and from schools.

“Accessibility and provision of infrastructure to accommodate people with disabilities and reduced mobility were also seen as an investment for all residents and visitors.”

The Northern Beaches Walking Plan community engagement process included online feedback and interactive map and sixteen community drop-in sessions in thirteen suburbs across the Northern Beaches Council area during February and March this year.

“The outcomes of the engagement process will inform Council’s final Walking Plan,” Mayor Regan said.

“As part of the process, it was important to capture input from a range of individuals representing diverse community interests - including schools, pre-schools, people with reduced mobility, older people and recreational groups, among others.”

 
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