ACT Active Travel Framework

In 2015 the ACT Government released a strategy for active travel. The document is called Building an Integrated Transport Network: Active Travel but everybody calls it the Active Travel Framework.

Update 15 April 2022 ACT Active Travel Framework

The ACT Active Travel Framework from 2015 will be update in 2022 and replaced with new Active Travel Plan. We will provide further updates once it is released.

New Active Travel Plan (ATP)

The ACT government is currently developing a new active travel plan. Through the plan the government will set a new policy direction for active travel, which I can announce we will be consulting on with the community around the middle of the year. This plan will replace the current active travel framework. …

The plan will include principles that guide decision-making for active travel, a framework for prioritising network improvements and supporting initiatives and, importantly, a new active travel network plan. The new network plan will also map out the current future of our walking and cycling routes and outline proposed improvements to it. …

The plan will establish a new framework for active travel infrastructure that is suitable and safe for all ages and abilities and that is complemented by initiatives such as education, behavioural and enabling actions such as bicycle parking, wayfinding, shade and amenities. The plan will … outline the ways we intend to measure and track this over time. … to encourage people to walk and cycle (we) will be to build safe infrastructure. The research tells us that it starts with safety. … most people will not cycle unless there are paths that are safely separated from cars. Similarly, when there are highly frequented cyclepaths that are shared with pedestrians, people may not feel safe walking with cyclists and may also feel safer on their own dedicated part of the street.

Transport Minister Steel, Hansard 23 March 2022, ACT Legislative Assembly, 466-471.


The ACT Government’s thinking on the future development of the ACT transport network. The concept of active travel is incorporated in the health, urban planning and environment strategies and now the wellbeing budget too. “Active travel” is an abstract concept and leads to confusion. “Active travel” also quite broad in scope and this continues to create difficulties.

Figure 1: Cover of Building an Integrated Transport Network: Active Travel (aka. Active Travel Framework)

Building an Integrated Transport Network: Active Travel has its origins in Transport for Canberra (ACT Government, 2012).

Active travel: what is it?

Walking is active travel. So walking to the bus stop makes public transport active travel. Pretty much anything can be active travel that does not involve driving door to door, as we often do.

Walking is active travel. Photo by Daniel Reche

Active travel is many things:

“Active Travel

Transport for Canberra adopted the term ‘active travel’, which refers to human powered mobility – such as walking, cycling or riding (see definition below). The focus of this framework is on the use of active travel to access jobs, education, services and social opportunities, as well as for recreational purposes. A public transport journey (by bus, train or light rail) is generally accompanied by a walk, cycle or ride to and from the transport stop.”

Building an Integrated Transport Network: Active Travel (ACT Government, May 2015), page 5

But for the major it is just three things: walking, cycling and riding. Riding can also mean many things.

“Walking, cycling and riding

When the terms walking, cycling and riding are used in this framework, they generally refer to any form of human powered mobility: walking; using a wheelchair or other personal mobility device; pushing a pram; wheeling luggage; riding a bicycle, e-bike/pedelec, scooter, skateboard, tricycle or rollerblades. They can also refer to horse riding.”

Building an Integrated Transport Network: Active Travel (ACT Government, May 2015), page 5

“CASE STUDY – Streets for Community (report)

The ACT Government is exploring ways to better design and deliver Canberra’s streets. Streets for Community recognises that successful streets are more than just a conduit for traffic; they are also places to be, walk, and ride.

Streets are considered ‘good’ when they are used by nearby residents and businesses, provide appropriate space and design for a range of activities and feel safe and welcome. Good streets have a local character and sense of place, provide for a mix of development types, integrate service requirements, and encourage people to connect with their community.

Work to improve streets includes providing quality pedestrian and cycle paths that are seamlessly connected to broader walking and cycling networks. Intersections are important to prioritise direct, convenient and safe street crossings.”

Building an Integrated Transport Network: Active Travel (ACT Government, May 2015), page 43
Figure 2: bike and ride map, Building an Integrated Transport Network: Active Travel (ACT Government, May 2015), page 47

“CASE STUDY – Bike racks on buses

Over 80% of ACTION buses are fitted with bike racks. It is the most extensive network of bicycle-rack enabled bus routes in Australia. Customers can ride to a bus stop, hop on the bus with their bike, then finish their journey by bicycle. It is also proving useful for customers who only want to ride one way. There is no additional fare for using the bike racks, and NXTBUS real time information system shows which buses have bike racks fitted. The ACT Government has expanded its commitment to bike racks on buses by including them on the higher capacity articulated and higher capacity rigid (14.5 metre ) fleet. It is expected that 98% of the bus fleet will be fitted with bike racks over time.”

Building an Integrated Transport Network: Active Travel (ACT Government, May 2015), page 48
Figure 3: Way finding signage, Building an Integrated Transport Network: Active Travel (ACT Government, May 2015), page 39

“CASE STUDY – Lowering Speed Limits in the ACT

Canberra city centre and Tuggeranong and Belconnen town centres now feature a 40 kmh speed limit around much of their highpedestrian activity areas. A 10 kmh decrease in speed limits, from 50–40 kmh, can reduce the risk of death by 50% for pedestrians and bicycle riders.

Based on the evaluation of the project, lower speed limits have already contributed to safer environment for walking, cycling and riding around all centres while having little or no impact on vehicle travel times and business in those areas.”

Building an Integrated Transport Network: Active Travel (ACT Government, May 2015), page 50
Photo by Ann H

“CASE STUDY – Age-friendly neighbourhoods

Canberra is part of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Network of Age- Friendly Cities – a group of jurisdictions that seek to improve the living experience of its senior residents. WHO’s checklist of essential features of age-friendly cities identifies eight domains: outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information, community and health services.

The ACT Strategic Plan for Positive Ageing 2010– 2014 recognises the need to better plan for, and accommodate the needs of, the ACT’s growing ageing population.”

Building an Integrated Transport Network: Active Travel (ACT Government, May 2015), page 52
Figure 4: Segway devices are permitted in the ACT and part of active travel

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