The TravelSmart - Belconnen project is a large-scale
Voluntary Travel Behaviour Change Project intended to
encourage the use of healthier, more sustainable transport
modes. It is a partnership funded through the Australian
Government’s Department of the Environment and Water
Resources and a significant initiative by the ACT Government
to implement its Sustainable Transport Plan.
The aim is to help people to help themselves.
What is Voluntary Travel Behaviour Change?
“…….change that occurs when individuals make choices
for personal reward without a top-down mechanism, regulation
of any sort or feeling of external compulsion…..an individual
decides to make a change so that he or she will improve
their personal life in some way” (Ampt, 2003).
The Project Goal
The project is expected to reduce car travel by between
5% and 14% across the project area.
Potential benefits of the project.
When people are encouraged to make smarter travel choices
the benefits can be:
Fulfilment of personal goals such as using time better
or saving money
Reduction in traffic and parking congestion
Increased public transport patronage
Improved community health, for example by encouraging
Improved pedestrian and cyclist safety
Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
Greater community interaction through walking and carrying
out activities locally
How, Where and When?
11,000 households in the Belconnen suburbs of Charnwood,
Dunlop, Evatt, Florey, Flynn, Fraser, Melba and the
Belconnen Town Centre were invited to participate. Around
40% of households, which is over 4,500 households, chose
to be involved. These households are trying to find
new ways to make life easier by using the car a bit
less such as helping them to ask their manager if they
could work at home, finding out more about local shops
(which is where the Belconnen website can help), avoiding
a longer car trip or using the bus, bike, or walking
The project started in August 2006 and ended in June
Feedback from the TravelSmart team
Many people have told us that when they first heard
someone from the TravelSmart team talking about using
their cars less, they thought it would be impossible
“you need a car in Canberra”. But when they realised
that it was often possible to get rid of the annoying
car trips by thinking differently, many people were
People told us many stories during the project such
A mother told us how the thing that bothered her
about her car was that she seemed to take her daughter
everywhere by car. She was very concerned about her daughter’s
lack of exercise, but wasn’t sure how to tackle the problem.
With the TravelSmart conversationalist she worked out
that if she walked with her daughter, she would probably
find it more fun (and it would be safer).” The walking
map meant we were able to find new and interesting places
"We sold our car and my husband takes the bus to work
and he enjoys listening to the radio on the way. He
now rings me before he leaves work so that I know what
time to have the tea ready. It’s convenient and saves
me snacking before tea as well.”
A busy mum was delighted when she found a safe route
for the kids to walk to school. “The children now walk
to school in the mornings by themselves. On top of it
I’ve worked out I can walk to work and save money on
A woman told us how she waited around at the hospital
for her husband to pick her up – and felt bad for him,
and not too happy with the wait. But TravelSmart helped
her solve that. “I didn’t realise that I can catch the
bus home from the hospital so easily. It means my husband
does not have to wait around for me – that’s really
You might have seen our stall at the Belconnen Festival
last November. At the stall people talked to representatives
from ACTION buses, Pedal Power, the Australian Greenhouse
Office, the Walking School Bus and the ANU Art of Moving
Project. There were also some excellent art works by
children from Miles Franklin Primary School.
At the Festival one of the people who learnt to
use the bike racks on the buses said, ”it’s really easy
to put the bike on the bus now that I have tried it.
I can use the bus to Civic then ride to work from there.”
One of the most exciting developments was linking with
the Green Steps Program called “Art of Moving”. The
leader of the project invited people to create a work
of art that related to the goals of reducing car use
and healthy living. The idea was to draw a shoe (one
of the key ingredients to using a car less). There are
shoes from TravelSmart participants as well as from
students at St John the Apostle and Evatt primary schools.
All the shoes were combined into a work of public art
which appeared at the Art of Moving Exhibition at the
ANU in April 2007.
Where can I get more information on TravelSmart?
The project has finished contacting households but
if you would like to know more about TravelSmart please
email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (02) 6207 5539.
Information on other TravelSmart projects around Australia
can be found at the national TravelSmart webpage www.travelsmart.gov.au
and Queanbeyan cycleways