22 November 2021

 

Dr Marisa Paterson MLA’s ‘Her Way’ Recommendation Report contains 43 clear, actionable recommendations for implementation by the ACT Government, to support women – particularly in Canberra’s south – to encourage greater engagement with public transport and active travel.

After releasing a public Discussion Paper on 9 August 2021, Dr Paterson has analysed the contributions from over 100 people and has worked with key stakeholders to prepare the report.

“I’m confident that the Report directly reflects community input and needs, is implementable, aligns with objectives and ambitions of the ACT Government and global best-practice initiatives, and will result in lasting, meaningful outcomes for our community” Dr Paterson said.

The timing of the ‘Her Way’ campaign coincides to help people find ways to minimise the inconvenience and disruption caused by the construction of light rail stage 2.

“I’m really excited about the opportunities to help support members of our community who want to make changes to their travel patterns and behaviour. The opportunity is not just about travel behaviour but is also about the type of city in which we want to live and the type of lifestyle we want to have”.

“What surprised me most about the comments received from community members was the number who want to switch from private car use to walk or ride for short journeys – to their local shops, or for recreational, sports and social purposes. I’m keen to help them make this happen” Dr Paterson said.

Dr Paterson will be tabling the Recommendation Report in Assembly sittings on Thursday 25 November, calling on the ACT Government to note the report’s 43 recommendations and the community input, and to seek opportunity to implement the recommendations in existing and future programs of work, including through:

  • initiatives of the light rail stage 2 Disruption Taskforce;
  • active travel infrastructure, initiatives and behaviour change programs;
  • public transport design and delivery;
  • urban planning design and delivery; and
  • incorporating a range of user perspectives in the above.

Dr Paterson encourages the ACT Government to take low-cost risks, trials, pilots and experiments to support behaviour change.

The report’s recommendations relate to Infrastructure, Communications and ‘Creating the ecosystem’ – stakeholder partnerships, flexible working arrangements, e-bikes, an inclusive and diverse lens, and considerations about school drop-off logistics.

“The reason that I have specifically targeted women in the ‘Her Way’ campaign is because studies suggest that women are a great litmus test for the safety and uptake of public transport and active travel in any city. That is, the higher the number of women engaging with public transport and active travel, the more effective and safer the travel system is for everyone. Although society is shifting, studies show that – on average – women still carry the bulk of the childcare responsibility and household labour. So, basing the campaign around women who potentially face substantial challenges with time and flexibility will ultimately ensure that public transport and active travel will be more accessible for everyone ” Dr Paterson said. 

Dr Paterson is at the start of her own journey towards making some changes in her travel behaviour and will be sharing her story. The community can stay updated through Dr Paterson’s Facebook page and newsletter.

 

Pedal Power ACT Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ian Ross, said Pedal Power was on board with the initiative.

“Pedal Power is really pleased to see a proactive strategy to address the anticipated disruption on our roads with the coming construction of Light Rail to Woden,” he said.

“We particularly welcome the focus of the Her Way campaign on women, who we know have traditionally had a lower participation rate in active travel in Canberra. Her Way is well-aligned with Pedal Power’s philosophy in identifying barriers to participating in active travel, and addressing these issues to enable greater participation. The more Canberrans who are in a position to cycle for transport, the better off we all will be as a community”.

Pedal Power is the ACTs largest cycling organisation with over 6,000 members, advocating for all people who ride bikes in the ACT.

 

Mr Dan Kneipp, CEO of the Amy Gillett Foundation is also on board.

"We’re excited by the opportunities in Canberra to support women by making bike riding safer and more convenient. The ‘Her Way’ report highlights the broad spectrum of approaches that can help make this a reality, from investing in protected bike lanes, to workplace travel behaviour change programs, and many more. Action on these ideas can lead to genuine, positive change; we look forward to them progressing” Mr Kneipp said

The Amy Gillett Foundation is Australia’s lead cycling safety organisation, promoting actions to reduce death and injury of cyclists.