Cycling in Sydney Australia
I know this is preaching to the converted in this forum, but perhaps it will help the message to get through.
Published in the British Medical Journal, it is about transport in the UK but it applies equally to Sydney.
" Vivienne Nathanson, director of BMA professional activities, told the BMJ that current transport policy is anti-health and discriminatory.
“The freedom to make choices [that are better for health] is often only available to those who can afford it,” she said. “Options should include active transport [walking and cycling] that more of us are able to embrace safely. At the moment children cannot cross the road to meet their friends because the traffic is too dense and moving too fast.”
“Economic considerations have been prioritised over health,” she says. “This is despite a substantial evidence base demonstrating that making health a key objective in transport policy is cost effective, and will have short, medium, and long term benefits.”
The report acknowledges that changing the focus of transport will not be easy and “can only be achieved with decisive leadership and a strong commitment to improving health.”
Roads need to be less congested and more user friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. This could be achieved by prioritising pavements over traffic lanes and wider use of road charging schemes, traffic calming measures, and 20 miles per hour speed limits, says the report.
In some areas traffic lights have been set to favour vehicles over pedestrians with the time allocated to cross the road too short for some people who cannot walk fast, said Nathanson.
Transport policies also need to create safe routes to schools so that parents and children can walk or cycle. And building policies should focus on providing facilities in areas where more people can access them on foot or by bike rather than locating them out of town, which increases car use.
" Nathanson said: “There is no down side. Walking and cycling get you from A to B, they help keep you fit and protect your overall health and there’s a minimal cost involved.
The original British Medical Association report is available at:
Same sentimate but closer to home (victoria)
OBESE NATION: It’s time to admit it – Australia is becoming an obese nation. This series looks at how this has happened and more importantly, what we can do to stop the obesity epidemic.
Alarm bells are ringing in health circles about the impact this will have on all the major preventable diseases: type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
People are more likely to walk and cycle if they live in safe, compact, pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods characterised by connected street networks, access to nearby destinations such as shops and parks
Unfortunately the NSW state government is not in this circle.