Community views to guide the expansion of Newcastle’s footpaths

12 May 2022

Smart technology, along with community insights, are helping to guide the expansion of the city’s footpath network.

Work has started to develop the city’s Principal Pedestrian Network (PPN), which is a mapped network of existing and future pedestrian routes that support activity into and around key destinations such as neighbourhood and retail centres, schools, parks, and transport stops.

City of Newcastle civil construction trainee Mitch Curry at work on the construction of a 320-metre long section of footpath on the northern side of Newcastle Road in Jesmond.

City of Newcastle maintains 1,000 kilometres of footpath across the city and adds to this network each year to address missing gaps.

To support the expansion, the PPN will guide how new footpaths are prioritised to deliver the best benefits for the community. The PPN will build on the extensive amount of existing information on Newcastle's pedestrian infrastructure, which is based on previous community submissions, public works, surveys, and known projects around the city.

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said community feedback is important to ensuring our pedestrian networks cater for everyone including older residents, people with mobility or vision impairments, school children, tourists and recreational pedestrians.

“Encouraging greater participation in active transport and improving pedestrian safety are key objectives of City of Newcastle," Cr Clausen said.

"We need to ensure that the community is provided with suitable pedestrian facilities for daily activities. Our footpaths help children travel safely to school, commuters get to the bus stop, parents walk with prams, and dog owners exercise with their pooch.

“Community views will help us better understand what’s working well, and where improvement is needed. This initial engagement will help us understand why some people choose to walk, and others don’t, which will help us plan the future of our city.

"We’re asking the community to provide input via an inclusive survey designed to better understand community attitudes and behaviours around pedestrian accessibility in Newcastle, including non-infrastructure related enablers and barriers to participation."

Once the draft PPN is finalised, City of Newcastle will proceed with a second round of community consultation that will allow users to view and add their thoughts to an interactive map of the PPN.

To complete the survey, visit newcastle.nsw.gov.au/yoursay. The engagement period closes on Friday 10 June.