The Australian Pedestrian Summit

Sydney - Thursday (evening) 23 & Friday 24 September 1999


The Pedestrian Council of Australia is convening the Australian Pedestrian Summit later this year. It will be conducted in Sydney starting with an evening session on 23rd September and concluding the following day, Friday 24th.

The aim of the Summit is to bring together relevant stakeholders from around Australia to develop an Australian Pedestrian Charter. Ideally this 'guiding principles' document will be a means of raising public consciousness and an awareness of the importance of walking as a transport mode, as well as a popular and healthy recreational activity. It will serve to focus attention on the safety, amenity and access issues facing pedestrians, their rights and responsibilities, and can be used as a statement of planning and management principles of lasting significance.

Recommendations for the adoption of an "Australian Pedestrian Charter" have been formally adopted by: "The Australian College of Road Safety - Pedestrian Safety Conference - June 1998" and the "Victorian Parliament's Road Safety Committee Report `Walking Safely' - June 1999".

While the product, in the form of a document, will be the focus of the Summit, the process of bringing delegates together with this common goal will also have lasting significance by creating a support network throughout the country.

Background and context

The Pedestrian Council of Australia is a community based non-profit organisation incorporated in August 1996 with the aim of being a voice for pedestrians and committed to:
The continual improvement of pedestrian safety, amenity and access;
The promotion of walking as a legitimate transport mode and an important, healthy social activity;
The encouragement of the inclusion of pedestrian safety, amenity and access provisions in all urban and transport planning

Further information on the Council and another initiative, the 'Walk to Work Day (Friday 1 October 1999), may be obtained from its web pages at

The Pedestrian Council has brought together representatives from key stakeholders as a Steering Group to advise on the objectives, structure, content and outcomes of the Summit. The Steering group includes the Motor Accident Authority, Department of Transport, Department of Health, Roads and Traffic Authority, Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, Department of Veterans Affairs, Sydney City Council, NRMA and the Federation of Parents and Citizens Association.

Model documents

A number of documents can be referred to as models or precedents. This may be for the direct relevance of their content, such as The European Charter of Pedestrians' Rights, adopted by the European parliament in 1988, and The Delhi Declaration on the Safety of the Vulnerable Road User, adopted at an international Conference on Road Safety held in New Delhi in 1991.

It may be because of the related topics covered, such as the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, adopted at a World Health Organisation conference held in Ottawa, Canada, in 1986, or again for their significance as benchmark and reference documents in their field, such as the Burra Charter.

This Australian version of the ICOMOS charter for the conservation of places of cultural significance was adopted at a meeting in the historic South Australian mining town of Burra in 1979. It has since been widely accepted and adopted as the standard for heritage.

World Health Organisation

London 1999, (Third Ministerial Conference on Environment & Health)
Draft Charter on Transport, Environment and Health

In June 1999, the Ministers and representatives of the European Member States of the World Health Organisation and Members of the European Commission (EC) responsible for transport, environment and health adopted the above Charter. This Charter sets out the principles, strategies and a plan of action to guide policies towards achieving transport sustainable for health and the environment.
Please have a look their web-site:

and then click on: "A Charter on Transport, Environment and Health."
It is proposed that a draft document outlining key issues will be developed and circulated to participants for comment prior to the Summit and that the Summit will be used to seek consensus on content and final format of the document.
Summit Objectives

The objectives of the Summit are:
To bring together key stakeholders with an interest in pedestrian safety, access and mobility
To identify and achieve consensus on critical pedestrian issues to be included in the document
To generate a guiding principles document "The Australian Pedestrian Charter" focussing on pedestrian rights and responsibilities
To raise the profile of pedestrian issues


Participants to be invited would include those responsible for the provision, design and/or maintenance, of pedestrian facilities, the formulation, administration or enforcement of laws and regulations affecting pedestrians and their relationship to other road users, those promoting walking as an important health or environmental strategy, those with some shared or complementary objectives such as public transport and bicycle advocates, and representatives of particularly vulnerable groups of pedestrians such as the mobility impaired, aged and school aged children. Ideally representation would be from Australia as a whole.

A specific task for the steering group is therefore to track down the people who have something to contribute to the process regardless of their location and then to work out how their attendance can be facilitated.

A balance will require to be struck between those who have the most to contribute to the process and those whose presence will be important as representative of a particular interest and hence whose endorsement will give any resulting document acceptance and credibility.

It is anticipated that there will be around 100 participants.

Dates, time, venue

The Summit will commence on the evening of Thursday 23rd September over dinner at the Sheraton on the Park, Sydney from 6:30 PM until approximately 10:30 PM, reconvening on Friday 24th at the Powerhouse Museum, Target Theater, Harris Street, Ultimo (Darling Harbour) at 9:00 AM and finishing at 5:00 PM.

Outline of proceedings

Thursday 6.00 PM Registration
  6.30 PM Reception
  7.00 PM Welcome - Harold Scruby, Chairman/CEO Pedestrian Council Official Opening - Hon. Carl Scully MP, Minister for Transport and Minister for Roads, NSW
  7.15 PM Dinner
  8.30 PM Walking upside down - a view from an even more car-dependent America. - John Moffat, Director, Washington Traffic Safety Commission, USA
  9:00 PM Sweets and coffee.

Introduction of Sir Laurence Street, Rodney Tolley and other key participants
  9.30 PM Instructions for next day, official 'goodnight' Informal discussions
Friday 8.30 AM Powerhouse Museum open, late registrations
  9.00 AM Keynote address - Chatter or Charter? The European experience
Rodney Tolley, Head of the Centre for Alternative and Sustainable Transport, Staffordshire University, UK
  9.45 AM From Draft to Adoption -
Guidelines for the day's task. Sir Laurence Street and Liz de Rome
  10.00 AM Charter Session 1 - Brief statements from delegates to explain or promote their recommended changes to the draft. Time limit 3 minutes.
Those wishing to speak are requested to advise the organisers prior to the Summit. Prior to the conclusion of this session, Sir Laurence will invite volunteers to lead each working group to draft new or amended sections of the Charter. Locations for working group discussion to be advised at the close of Session 1, and displayed on signs around the venue.
  11.00 AM Coffee/Tea
  11.30 AM Charter Session 2 - Working groups discuss and prepare proposed amendments for specific sections of the Charter.
Participants self select which group they wish to join according to issues raised in Session 1.
  12.45 PM Light lunch in foyer
  2.00 PM Charter Session 3 - Working groups report back with their recommendations to the full group. Each amendment is debated in turn until consensus is achieved.
The objective is to complete discussion of all proposed amendments however the debate may overflow into Session 4.
  3.15 PM Afternoon tea
  3.45 PM Final Charter Session 4 - Do we have agreement? How can we use this? Where to from here?
This may be an overflow session. Once all debate has been concluded and consensus achieved on each paragraph of the Charter. The finalised full text can be presented on screen, for final agreement.
  4.30 PM Closing remarks
  5.00 PM Fill out evaluation sheet. Retire to bar, go for walk, go home!
Further information:

Ian Napier

Keys Young

PO Box 252


Tel (02) 9956 7515

Fax (02) 9956 7514


Curriculum Vitae of Speakers

Rodney Tolley BSc, MA, MCIT,MILT, is Director of CAST - The Centre for Alternative and Sustainable Transport, Staffordshire University, UK.

CAST is the first research centre in the world devoted specifically to non-motorised modes of transport. Its mission is:
To increase knowledge and understanding of alternative and sustainable forms of transport;
To identify opportunities for their more widespread use throughout the world;
To develop and disseminate programs for their promotion, adoption and incorporation into everyday life.
CAST's developing portfolio of local, national and international activity includes a wide range of ongoing research and consultancy projects on, for example, Walking strategies and networks; Attitudes of key decision-makers to transport issues; Health and transport; audits and green commuter plans; City centre greening plans; Cycle promotion strategies; and Cycle tourism and long distance cycle networks.

Rodney has authored and edited a number of books in these fields, most notably 'The Greening of Urban Transport:Planning for Walking and Cycling in Western Cities' (1997) 2nd Edition, John Wiley, which has been described as the 'bible' of green mode planning. He has been conducting training on 'Walking; Techniques for Planning Local Networks' in conjunction with the launch in Britain of a National Walking Strategy and has directed CAST's contribution to a manual of Best Practice in Walking shortly to be published by the London Walking Forum. He is currently initiating research in collaboration with partners in cities throughout Europe investigating strategies that make people want to walk in cities. This will develop frameworks for city walking strategies which build on encouragement for recreational and health walkers to become everyday urban walkers.

To get around he uses one of his 21 pairs of shoes; or failing that one of his 6 bicycles; or failing them, public transport; or, as a last resort, a 40 year old car. He hopes one day to be able to swap the car for a new pair of shoes.

John Moffat, Director, Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, USA.

John has a background of almost 30 years in the area of traffic safety and enforcement, originally in the police service and now as an independent executive appointed by the Governor of the State of Washington to manage that state's highway safety office. This is a responsibility that includes the development of policy and research in the traffic safety field.

He chairs the Safety Committee of the Partnership for a Walkable America, teaches pedestrian safety and traffic police management at the Institute of Police Technology and Management, University of North Florida, and for the Federal Highway Administration's National Highway Institute. He conducts research in the field of pedestrian safety and drowsy driving at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Centre, Seattle , is an Associate member of the Pedestrian Safety Committee of the Transportation Research Board, National Academy of Science, and is a member of the Standing Committee for Highway Safety of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials. He is widely published in these research areas.

With this background and breadth of current involvement, John is especially well attuned to the strengths and weaknesses of enforcement in altering driver and pedestrian behaviour and brings a valuable combination of practical 'on the ground' experience, research-based theory and political reality to the field of pedestrian safety.

He has paid particular attention to the safety needs of children and in this regard helped the Greater Seattle Region organise and launch their "Walk Our Children to School" Week. Despite, or perhaps because of, his 'official' roles he is described as a strong believer in the role of citizens in 'retaking' their neighbourhoods. He is a judge in Walking Magazine's Walkable Communities awards, finding the most walkable places in America.

The European Charter of Pedestrians' Rights
Adopted by the European Parliament in 1988

I. The pedestrian has the right to live in a healthy environment and freely to enjoy the amenities offered by public areas under conditions that adequately safeguard his physical and psychological well-being,
II. The pedestrian has the right to live in urban or village centres tailored to the needs of human beings and not to the needs of the motor car and to have amenities within walking or cycling distance.
III. Children, the elderly and the disabled have the right to expect towns to be places of easy social contact and not places that aggravate their inherent weakness.
IV. The disabled have the right to specific measures to maximise their independent mobility, including adjustments in public areas, transport systems and public transport (guidelines, warning signs. acoustic signals, accessible buses, trams and trains).
V. The pedestrian has the right to urban areas which are intended exclusively for his use, are as extensive as possible and are not mere ..pedestrian precincts' but in harmony with the overall organisation of the town, and also the exclusive right to connecting short, logical and safe routes.
VI. The pedestrian has a particular right to expect :
(a) compliance with chemical and noise emission standards for motor vehicles which scientists consider to be tolerable;
(b) the introduction into all public transport systems of vehicles that are not a source of either air or noise pollution;
(c) the creation of 'green lungs', including the planting of trees in urban areas;
(d) the fixing of speed limits and modifications to the layout of roads and junctions as a way of effectively safeguarding pedestrian and bicycle traffic :
(e) the banning of advertising which encourages an improper and dangerous use of the motor car.
(f) an effective system of road signs whose design also takes into account the needs of the blind and deaf:
(g) the adoption of specific measures to ensure that vehicular pedestrian traffic has ease of access to, and freedom of movement and the possibility of stopping on, roads and pavements respectively.
(h) adjustments to the shape and equipment of motor vehicles so as to give a smoother line to those parts which project most and to make signalling systems more efficient;
(i) the introduction of the system of risk liability so that the person creating the risk bears the financial consequences thereof (as has been the case in France, for example, since 1985);
(j) a drivers' training programme designed to encourage suitable conduct on the roads in respect of pedestrians and other slow road users.
VII. The pedestrian has the right to complete and unimpeded mobility, which can be achieved through the integrated use of the means of transport. In particular, he has the right to expect:
(a) an ecologically sound, extensive and well-equipped public transport service which will meet the needs of all citizens, from the physically fit to the disabled;
(b) the provision of facilities for bicycles throughout the urban areas;
(c) parking lots which are sited in such a way that they affect neither the mobility of pedestrians nor their ability to enjoy areas of architectural distinction
VIII. Each Member State must ensure that comprehensive information on the rights of pedestrians and on alternative ecologically sound forms of transport is disseminated through the most appropriate channels and is made available to children from the beginning of their school career.