Walking increased during pandemic

Sydney residents took up walking instead of driving during pandemic, research finds

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Sydneysiders have been ditching the car and walking instead, research has found. Photo: Shutterstock.

Sydneysiders have been ditching the car and walking instead, research has found. Photo: Shutterstock.

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The rate of using the pavement instead of the road has gone up in Sydney, offering social and health benefits.

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Sydneysiders have been ditching the car and walking instead, research has found.

Commissioned by Transport for NSW, data showed in a recent three-month period, 63 per cent of Sydneysiders, the equivalent of 2.6 million people, have walked as part of their regular journeys around the city. When compared to a year ago, around two in five people (41 per cent) say they're walking more than before to get from A to B. Bike riding is also increasing in popularity, with half a million people (13 per cent) using a bicycle on their regular journey, with nearly one in five saying they cycle more than they did one year ago.

Bondi resident Susanne Gervay is an award-winning author who has embraced walking to get to her destinations during the pandemic.

She said walking to get to the shops, post office or meetings has helped her keep active, mentally stimulated and has made new friendships along the way, which in her view, has helped create a stronger local community feel.

For example, Susanne used to drive to the cinema, but now she walks and often meets friends along the way. She also now walks to her post office box in Bondi Junction and takes a rucksack to Westfield to do her shopping. She prefers walking now for her regular journeys instead of being stuck in traffic and hunched over her driving wheel.

Susanne also walks to get around the local suburbs to go shopping and attend events with her new friend and neighbour. Instead of catching up at the end point, they now enjoy the journey together to the destination. It allows them to catch up along the way and arrive feeling energised.

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