Active Transport – Cycling Strategy Health Lens

A whole-of-government approach to the development of the South Australian Government Cycling Strategy - Facilitating engagement and ownership.

The Active Transport health lens is a collaborative project between the Health in All Policies Unit, SA Health, and the Cycling and Walking Section in the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).

About the project

The project aims to support the development of the new South Australian Government Cycling Strategy and its acceptance, support and adoption across government. 

Cycling has been identified as a priority for the Government of South Australia, reflected by South Australia’s Strategic Plan Target 2: Double the number of people cycling in South Australia by 2020, and the inclusion of cycling in the 30-Year Plan for Adelaide and transit-oriented development planning initiatives.

Cycling for physical activity

Chronic disease within the population is consistently consuming a large part of the State’s health budget. Physical inactivity is one of the five main risk factors for chronic disease, and contributes to three others of these:

  • obesity
  • high cholesterol levels
  • high blood pressure. 

Cycling is an affordable, low impact form of physical activity that can be incorporated into daily activities, particularly if used as a form of transport. Physical and social infrastructure which supports and encourages active transport has the potential to significantly reduce the economic burden of physical inactivity.

A culture that supports cycling

It has long been acknowledged that in order to successfully increase cycling, there needs to be a culture that supports cycling. This cultural change needs to be at a population wide level such that cycling for transport, recreation and exercise becomes normalised across the whole community. 

It is important that all sectors of the community embrace cycling, including families, workers, young and old, men and women.

Next steps

This project acknowledges that responsibility for many of the factors which influence cycling participation fall outside the policy drivers of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. Hence, in ensuring that the Strategy is adopted and embraced across government, it is important that all relevant stakeholders are consulted. This project will facilitate this consultation process across state government.

A review of the literature has been undertaken to identify factors associated with everyday cycling. A desktop analysis will be used to map and examine the interactions and pathways between supporting cycling and other government departments core business and objectives.

A preliminary across government strategic workshop has been held to introduce the direction for the new Strategy.

Seven cabinet strategic priorities

The project supports South Australia’s strategic priorities, ‘Safe Communities, Healthy Neighbourhoods’ and ‘Creating a Vibrant City’.

South Australia’s strategic plan targets

  • T2: Cycling - double the number of people cycling in South Australia by 2020.

Other targets this project supports include:

  • T22: Road safety - reduce road fatalities and serious injuries by at least 30% by 2020.
  • T59: Greenhouse gas emissions reduction - achieve the Kyoto target by limiting the state's greenhouse gas emissions to 108% of 1990 levels during 2008-2012, as a first step towards reducing emissions by 60% (to 40% of 1990 levels) by 2050.
  • T63: Use of public transport – increase the use of public transport to 10% of metropolitan weekday passenger vehicle kilometres travelled by 2018.
  • T82: Healthy weight – increase by five percentage points the proportion of South Australian adults and children at a healthy body weight by 2017.
  • T83: Sport and recreation – increase the proportion of South Australians participating in sport or physical recreation at least once per week to 50% by 2020.