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Like many larger cities, the Gold Coast faces increasing challenges with traffic congestion which impacts on resident’s productivity, health and work-family balance. Furthermore, 50 per cent of adults in the Gold Coast region are overweight or obese, and obesity amongst children continues to increase. A key objective from the Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031 is to reduce our car dependency and significantly increase levels of walking, cycling, carpooling and public transport.
School-based and community activities have been running for some time and now the City of Gold Coast has turned its attention to workplaces. The Active Travel Workplace program encourages people to walk, cycle, carpool or use public transport to get to and from work and carry out duties at work. The City of Gold Coast has led the way by encouraging its own 3600 strong workforce to cycle or walk to work and use council provided bikes to commute to meetings, events and activities during working hours.
The Gold Coast region is well known for its spectacular beaches, hinterland ranges, forests and waterways, and is a major tourist destination. Its boundaries extend from south of Beenleigh to Coolangatta, taking in South Stradbroke Island and part of Moreton Bay and west to the hinterland near Mount Tamborine and the Lamington and Darlington Ranges, covering an area of 1400 km2. It is home to 494,501 people (Census, 2011) and this is only expected to increase in the future.
This project demonstrates:
- council leading by example to support its workforce to be more active and healthy
- that addressing traffic congestion and encouraging more active and healthy lifestyles can be done simultaneously
- the importance of end of trip facilities and provision of a bicycle pool for travel while at work to create a workplace that encourages active transport
- the use of internal data collection and consultation tothe use of internal data collection and consultation to identify strategies important to
- supporting behavioural change in the workplace.
What we have done so far
- Held two annual council staff ride to work days and an annual council staff walk to work day across Council’s three main office locations at Bundall, Nerang and Varsity Lakes
which included complimentary breakfast.
- Conducted an audit of end of trip facilities at each of council’s main offices and addressed identified ‘end of trip needs’ at each site including showers and lockers. As a result of this audit, Council constructed a secure communal bike cage with a capacity of 20 bikes at the Nerang Administration Centre.
- Formed corporate teams at the Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Challenge and the Gold Coast Festival of Cycling.
- Established a council bike pool which includes electric, folding and hybrid bikes at each of the main office locations for staff to travel to locations within a 5 km buffer zone.
- Organised a number of social rides for employees outside of work hours.
What we have achieved so far
- Awareness and uptake of the Active Travel Workplace program across various Council administration centres.
- Increased numbers of council staff walking or cycling to work and accessing council’s bike pool during work hours. The number of employees walking and cycling to work on nominated walk to work and cycle to work days has more than doubled since the program’s inception. Over 100 employees have registered to use the Council Bike Pool.
What we have learnt so far
- The risk management process was a major issue to be addressed in establishing the council bike pool program.
- There is a need for contingency plans for bad weather, particularly for major events such as ride to work days.
What we are planning to do next
- Continue to collect data regarding council staff use of the bike pool.
- As per the Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031, we will begin to engage local businesses to participate in Active Travel Workplace program as of mid 2014.
- Further hosting and support of ride or walk to work days across the Gold Coast.
- Create a Bundall Precinct Sustainable Workplace Travel Program for our offices in the Bundall region.
What you can do
- Establish workplace programs for Council staff.
- Work with local businesses to support employers and staff to choose more active travel options.
- Develop maps and information to support those wishing to walk or ride to work or undertake these activities in conjunction with public or private transport.
- Ensure capital works program provide infrastructure that supports pedestrians and cyclists.
Council project contact:Nick Abroms
Active Travel Supervisor, City Transport Branch, City of Gold Coast
T: 07 5582 8245
E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au