Sunday, February 25, 2024

New transport funding round opens for NSW councils

The NSW Government has announced $60 million for Councils across the state to improve walking and cycling, with a major focus on Western Sydney and regional communities.

From today, Councils can apply for grants in the latest round of Transport for NSW’s Get NSW Active funding program to deliver projects that will encourage walking and cycling, and vibrant places to live, work and play.

“The Get NSW Active program is all about working with councils to make it easier for people to walk and cycle through their neighborhoods,” said NSW Transport Minister, Jo Haylen.

“It is exciting to see projects funded by this program now coming to life. The Alfred Street Bridge is a stunning new connection across the Parramatta River for people walking or jumping on their bikes.

“With an estimated 1.5 billion walking and bike riding trips taken each year across NSW, it’s vital we make it safer and easier.

“I encourage NSW local governments make the most of this opportunity and put their applications in for the next Get NSW Active funding round.”

This year, the Get NSW Active program will include $10 million in funding for councils to deliver projects within walking catchments to primary schools to provide a safer and more comfortable walk or ride to and from school for kids and parents.

Upgraded and wider footpaths, cycleways, quality crossings, reduced speed zones, new trees, and improved safety features for bike riders and pedestrians are some of the initiatives eligible for funding.

More than half of the funding will be prioritised for projects and initiatives in Western Sydney Local Government Areas (LGAs) and regional NSW.

The announcement coincides with the opening of the $19 million Alfred Street Bridge (pictured), a new pedestrian and cycling connection across the Parramatta River at Alfred Street.

The bridge was funded by Transport for NSW’s Get NSW Active program ($3.5m), NSW Department of Planning ($8.15m) and City of Parramatta Council ($7.5m). It provides a 200-metre-long link over the river to the Parramatta Light Rail’s Tramway Avenue stop, as well as access to the 20km Parramatta Valley Cycleway, which weaves along the river.

“Alfred Street Bridge is a distinctive new landmark for our City that will make it safer and faster for our growing community to travel throughout Parramatta,” said City of Parramatta Lord Mayor, Pierre Esber.

“We live in a beautiful City and Alfred Street Bridge will cut down commute times and make it easier to connect to public transport and travel to the CBD.

“It’s an important link that will connect the community to more than 20 kilometres of pedestrian and cycling paths to enjoy and explore our natural surroundings.”

The Alfred Street Bridge also connects to the new 5.7 kilometre shared path that runs alongside the Parramatta Light Rail corridor, a missing cycleway link built by Transport between George Street and Noller Parade on Alfred Street, and will link to the future George Street East Pedestrian and Cyclist Paths, which are due to be delivered next year by Council under Transport’s Get NSW Active program.

“The NSW Public Spaces Legacy program seeks to provide quality public open space for the community while speeding up the delivery of local projects,” said Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully.

“Alfred Street Bridge delivers on this commitment as well as providing a new active transport link catering for Parramatta’s growing population with a convenient, safe and scenic walking and cycling link over the river.

“Residents can now directly access the Parramatta Light Rail stop on the southern side, along with services, schools and recreational areas.”

These projects form part of a growing network of safe cycleways and shared paths that will allow easier access to key attractions, community hubs, and current and future transport options including Sydney Metro West.

The City of Parramatta was also successful in the last round of Get NSW Active funding, receiving $341,000 for planning new or improved active transport links.

The Get NSW Active annual program (2023/24) received a record 523 applications from councils across the state with funding allocated for 46 Greater Sydney projects and 41 regional projects.

Applications for Get NSW Active funding grants can be made from now until midnight 12 December 2023 through the NSW Government grants and funding website at https://www.nsw.gov.au/grants-and-funding.

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