Mayor outlines $6m Active Towns program
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning today outlined a $6 million program to be rolled out over three years aimed at boosting cycling and walking in the city.
The Active Towns program will be jointly funded by Cairns Regional Council and the State Government, with $2.6 million to be spent in the first year on the provision of an off-road cycleway from the city centre to Woree.
Cairns is one of three centres in Queensland (others being Gold Coast and Mackay) to be nominated by the Department of Transport and main Roads to be a pilot “Active Town”.
Cr Manning said the Council was keen to get started on the Cairns Southern Cycleway which would provide safer options for people to ride into the city.
The path will continue the link from the Esplanade along Wharf Street, then wind around to Draper Street and continue along Spence St via a disused rail corridor through to the end of Little Spence St in Earlville.
The second stage of the project will see the path link behind the Cannon Park race track and feed into the new works being undertaken by the Department of Transport and Main Roads at Woree.
“This project demonstrates our commitment to the growth of cycling and walking in Cairns and there’s more to come,” Cr Manning said.
Funding over the next two years of the program will be allocated to other major cycling links around Cairns which will be determined based on priorities outlined in the Cairns Cycling and Walking Strategy.
An important aspect of the Active Towns initiative is a diverse education and activation program aimed at encouraging people into increasing their physical activity with a focus on riding or walking.
In the first year, an additional $200,000 will be spent on developing and rolling out a school travel program which will include audits of school routes to ensure the maximum safety for students riding or walking to school.
“This is an opportunity for Cairns to showcase best practice cycling and pedestrian infrastructure and cycle education,” Cr Manning said.