Active Whitehorse News – April 2022

Out of the mouths of babes

Credit: Kelly Andrews – Healthy Cities Illawarra

Walking to school mythbusters

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There is plenty of internationally recognised research to back up the above with conclusions like this:

To increase AT (Active Transport) to school it is worth investing in infrastructure designed to improve walkability around schools, coupled with campaigns that target whole households to promote
age-appropriate independent mobility rather than adult accompaniment, which tends to involve
children being driven.

Ref: Carver et al, Journal of Transport and Health 12 (2019) 115-129

PLUS these significant papers all with the same conclusions.

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Roads and streets. Is there a difference?

Why don’t we categorise traffic thoroughfares by functionality instead of just looking at traffic volumes?

Credit: Steffen Berr

“It’s a choice. We can fill our public spaces with cars or fill them with life.” – Ian Lockwood

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A bicycle built for … three?

Photo credit: Rail Trails Australia

TrioBikes are a hit on the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail.

If you think rail trails are just for runners, riders and walkers, the rail trail team in Tumbarumba had a better idea. Why not offer taxi-style rides along the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail (TRRT) on an e-bike, to those unable to do it under their own power? Read more here.

If you like walking or riding on some of the nicest trails in Australia, check out Rail Trails Australia.
In Victoria there are hundreds of km of trails and so many possibilities for a weekend (or longer) away in the country side. Other states are starting to catch up. Its great to see NSW joining in now too.

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Locally in Whitehorse

Fix needed for Spotlight access from Gardiners Creek Trail

Recently a WATAG member was visiting OfficeWorks nearby. If this entrance had been available she would have used it. Instead she rode on the footpath of Middleborough Rd and was knocked by a car, breaking her leg. To add insult, the police fined her for footpath riding!

The community needs this entrance re-engineered to make it accessible to all users – those walking, on bikes of all types, parents with prams, disability carts and appliances.

We ask Whitehorse City to work with Spotlight Group Holdings to make this entrance to the Spotlight/Ananconda retailers, and the entire nearby retail locality, one which can be used safely and conveniently by everyone in the community.

  • Peoples health and lives are a stake.
  • Retailers will get increased patronage.
  • People of all abilities will have access

Here’s what people in the community think:

Please sign the petition if you agree that this ramp needs to be replaced with something more suitable for all to use.

Have your say about the local environment

WATAG is a members of CROWAG and our by-line is:
Active transport for a healthy, environmentally friendly community.
So we fully support this initiative and invite you to come to. Please RSVP – click here.

Bi- monthly Community Chat

Click here to RSVP – we would really enjoy your company.

Box Hill and Active Transport

For several years now WATAG has expressed the views of the community about Box Hill’s development and the effects of planning by Whitehorse Council and the State Government. We have emphasised the need to make sure that, as Box Hill rapidly rises to the State Government’s desire for it to become the largest Metropolitan Activity Centre (MAC) outside of the City of Melbourne, the needs of people at street level are not forgotten.

WATAG has been represented on several important planning and transport panels – mostly related to Box Hill – and has had discussions with authorities including:

  • Member of Whitehorse Council’s Box Hill Stakeholder Reference Group in 2019
  • Member of Whitehorse Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy reference group in 2019
  • Participating in the community empowered panel charge with writing Whitehorse Council’s Vision 2040 held in 2020
  • Objections to Vicinity developments in Box Hill to ensure we are heard in relation to ensuring active transport access through Box Hill is not adversely impacted and impeded by this development – 2020/21
  • Participating in Infrastructure Victoria’s ‘What types of transport work best for Victoria?’ focus group – 2021
  • Participating in Suburban Rail Loop Authority’s Precinct Reference Group – 2022
  • Department of Transport discussions about options for the route of the Box Hill to Hawthorn Strategic Cycling Corridor (SCC) to ensure good linkages and access at Box Hill – 2022

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The Car That Wanted to be a Bike

By (author)  Lior Steinberg , Illustrated by  Rita Kruglova

This is a first … A children’s book about the joy of cycling and the future of cities.

“The world is changing, and sometimes it’s difficult to fit in. Johnny, a lovely and friendly car, experiences it firsthand. One day, Johnny’s family finds out how nice it is to use a bicycle instead of a car. Johnny misses his family and dreams of becoming a bike. Can Johnny turn into a two-wheeler? How does his family react? Can Johnny find a new purpose in life?”

A great gift for your children or the grandkids perhaps?

It was released in mid-February 2022, so it’s unlikely that they will have seen it yet!

Check out

Enjoy the chance to share this with your family.

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Paying the toll


It’s time we stopped paying the road toll. It might sound impossible but New Zealand has a plan to do this: it’s called Road to Zero.

Road to Zero is New Zealand’s plan for using proven and effective road safety tools to save lives and prevent serious injuries on our roads. Find out more:

Surely we can have the same aims here in Australia and get national consensus at election time about:

That’s just a bare minimum!

Victoria Walks also asks that we rethink school zones to allow reduced speed across the school neighbourhood, not limited to outside the school gate

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Active travel and Climate Change

Credit: European Union

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Beat climate change with solar

Wow…. how did this come to be created?

Refer: Trisled

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Does age matter?

When you are enjoying a stroll in the outdoors, does your age really matter?
Walking in a park is one of the most social things you can do!

Photo Credit: Gil Penalosa

“We believe that if everything we do in our cities is great for an 8 year old and an 80 year old, then it will be great for all people.”

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Active 3 & 4 year olds

Cycle Derby’s purpose is to get more adults and kids across Derby (UK) on bikes.
From learning to ride, utilising their fleet of inclusive bikes, gaining confidence to commute on the roads or providing local cycling resources, they’re working on it!

Here’s one very special project they tell about.
(Courtesy Mark Smith Cycle Derby.)

Credit: Cycle Derby

“In October we went to a brand new school in Derby to work with twelve 3 & 4 year olds; none of whom could ride a bike. The class teacher contacted me last week (mid February) with the following feedback. Draw your own conclusions on the benefits of introducing fun, exciting and educational ‘Being Active’ interventions at a young age.”

The report card:
“The Nursery and Reception children at Castleward Spencer Academy, have gained so much from their weekly Bikeability sessions. Their core strength has improved significantly, they are now able to stand for longer, sit correctly on chairs and can sit comfortably with a straight back on the carpet. There have been noticeable developments in their leg strength and coordination. In addition to the physical benefits, we have seen the children grow in determination, resilience and confidence. They are always eager to get back on their bike after a little wobble. We are now seeing the children transfer these skills into the classroom, making for confident, self-assured and active learners. Our weekly sessions and continued practise, have also developed and improved the children’s understanding and vocabulary too, as they are now using words such as “pedalling”, “braking” and “gliding” to describe what they are doing.”

They say “Imagine providing the same offer to every single school in the country!”

Imagine if we did this too in Melbourne!

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Walking and cycling to the Election

Click to download the pdf:

The Australasian Society for Physical Activity (ASPA) has partnered with several iconic
organisations including:

They have put forward:

“Three Transport Priorities for the 2022 Federal Election.” 

  1. Lower default speed limits
    – What this means and 8 reasons why this is a no-brainer.
  2. 1500m safe routes to schools
    – What this means and 8 things actually make things safer
  3. E-bike purchase subsidy
    – What this means and 6 reasons why it’s important

WATAG has joined with ASPA and the others, and has given  our organisation’s pledge for these priorities.

If you would like to pledge support too (and who wouldn’t?) go to:

And locally – what’s being offered?

Here in the leafy eastern suburbs of Melbourne, the Independent challenger to the Kooyong Electorate incumbent Josh Frydenberg is Dr Monique Ryan. She has embraced the Three Transport Priorities as a national aspiration.

Dr Ryan is also asking for a rejection of the Government’s promise of funding for station car parks the local communities don’t need or want. She is pushing for the funds to instead be directed to building the long-awaited and overdue Strategic Cycling Corridor from Hawthorn to Box Hill.

And there is more…

Whilst we are talking about Active Transport – walking and cycling – the cyclists have been very actively researching the benefits of cycling. We commend WeRide Australia for that!

WeRide Australia engaged Ernst & Young (“EY”) to conduct a study estimating the economic contribution of the cycling. The Australian Cycling Economy 2021 Report is the result.
The full report can be read here.

What about walking?

A reminder…

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Interested in being Active too? Here’s how

Join a local group that enables you to be active and social too!

  1. Like walking (and some bike riding too)?
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mwbclogo.jpg
If you want to enjoy the great outdoors, meet new people and take up a physical activity for your health then explore the MWBC website.(Click image above)

2. Or is regular bike riding your idea of fun?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is wci-logo.jpg

Whitehorse cyclists
We are a happy group of men and women who love the outdoors, enjoy riding bicycles and thrive in other people’s company.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is full-bike-racks.jpg
Image credit: Chris Trueman

Bike parking is easy for morning tea time at Aqualink Box Hill during a Whitehorse Cyclist’s Easy Tuesday ride.
Around 25 riders getting fitter and enjoying the company of friends.
Good for local business too by putting money back into the local community.

Some questions for YOU

  1. If you HAVEN’T received these newsletters regularly every two months, this question is for YOU.

Did you enjoy THIS newsletter, and would you like to read future newsletters every two months?

Click here

Thanks for answering!

Your view

Tell us what you think about articles in the newsletter in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

4 Responses to Active Whitehorse News – April 2022

  1. Cr Blair Barker says:

    I really appreciate WATAG’s advocacy on this matter…have good ‘voice’ and authenticity on this, please keep up the pressure on the state government. I hope we can untangle the decent connections and linkages as an outcome from the Suburban Rail Loop and Vicinity proposed development ….the path to Hawthorn and crossing of the rail corridor are critical to future amenity…the 109 Tram is packed with school kids at peak hours and a bike path would take pressure off the public transport and road system…we must be vigilant the relatively small but vital matters are not forgotten in the noise of massive projects. thanks again rgds Blair

    Liked by 1 person

    • WATAG says:

      Thank you for your complimentary comments. WATAG totally agrees with your sentiments in this regard.
      WATAG will continue to advocate to the SRLA to aim for the best outcomes from this massive project at both Box Hill and Burwood. We will also keep engaging with the state government to strive for the best integration of the SRLA project and the DoT’s plans for the Box Hill – Hawthorn SCC, and the best active transport outcomes for Box Hill generally.
      Of Council concern are the issues around the Vicinity application in relation to guaranteeing that both the north-south and east-west SCC’s are catered for and that they can intersect and also provide good access to the Box Hill MAC from these routes. The Vicinity application cuts off the present rail cross-over at the west end of Main st, so its approval will prevent a north-south SCC route unless there are guaranteed and water-tight agreements to provide a route across the rail linking Nelson Rd with Thurston St.
      That is why it is critical for Whitehorse Council to work with Vicinity before their application is approved, to mutually make arrangements to ensure this happens, and to work with groups such as WATAG and MeBug to ensure that what is planned will be best practice.


  2. Diane A Clark says:

    Well done – I can’t ride my bike anymore and would like it to go to a good home. Any ideas.


    • WATAG says:

      Diane, thanks for the compliment.
      So sorry that you can’t ride any more. As you are probably aware WATAG is about all kinds of mobility, so we hope walking is still a good option for you.
      We will be in touch privately to discuss the possibilities for your bike.


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