$30million funding boost for Northern Beaches footpaths
Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Northern Beaches Council will put on public exhibition the first ever draft Northern Beaches Walking Plan which includes a doubling of the investment in footpaths over the next ten years to more than $30million, funded by developer contributions, grants and Council’s operating surplus.
The WALK – Northern Beaches Walking Plan outlines Council’s future footpath delivery program, grouped under five priority headings starting from ‘Immediate Priority’ (proposed for delivery in the 2019-2020 reporting period) to ‘Not required’ or ‘Not feasible’.
The draft Plan proposes to accelerate the delivery the High and Medium Priority new footpaths with an injection of funds over ten years.
“We know that delivering new footpaths is a major priority for the community and so should be a major priority for us at Council,” said Mayor Michael Regan.
“That’s why we are proposing to double our footpath investment, to $3million each year for the next ten years so we can fast track the delivery of those footpaths that we know are needed.
“This funding is in addition to the significant investment in the Northern Beaches Coast Walk which will provide an iconic coastal walkway connecting Manly and Palm Beach by 2020.
“Improving footpaths not only helps people get around more easily but also supports our aim to support the community to be less car dependent which is good for health and the environment.
“Our footpaths connect our community to everything from schools, our workplaces, parks, beaches, sports fields as well as our family and friend’s homes.
“They are vital to making sure the Northern Beaches is an accessible and safe place to get around on foot,” he said.
Until now, Council’s delivery of footpaths across the Northern Beaches has been based on the Pedestrian and Mobility Plans of the former Manly, Pittwater and Warringah Councils.
The draft footpath delivery priority list is the result of an analysis undertaken to assess and rate all the missing footpath sections across the Northern Beaches left uncompleted by the former Councils.
“We have listened to the community and fed all the great feedback received to date into prioritisation of this draft Walking Plan” said Mayor Regan.
As a pedestrian is defined as a person on foot, whether walking or running as well as users of mobility aids and wheelchairs, the ‘Walking Plan’ is also aligned with Council’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP).
“A significant amount of work has already been undertaken to improve accessibility and inclusion through our Disability Inclusion Action Plan.
“Further work to enhance accessibility in the Northern Beaches’ footpath network is outlined in this new Walking Plan, too,” said Mayor Regan.
Northern Beaches Council is to conduct a wide-ranging public engagement program during the Walking Plan exhibition period which will commence in January 2019.