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Challenge After Cycleway Moratorium Lifted

24 November 2005

Cyclists Set Challenge After Cycleway Moratorium Lifted

CHRISTCHURCH - Spokes Canterbury, the local cycling advocacy group, has challenged the Christchurch City Council to get serious about encouraging cycling after it voted today to lift its moratorium on cycleway projects.

In June the Council voted to halt tendering of all projects involving cycleways, pending a review of the cycle strategy and its implementation. Since then, two seminars and two Council meetings had failed to sway Councillors. But today's report back from staff saw a unanimous vote to lift the freeze, albeit after another lengthy discussion.

Spokes Chair Glen Koorey said that he felt relieved more than anything else.

"Our chief concern all along has been the process by which this happened, and it was made quite clear to Councillors today about the untenable nature of their stance."

Mr Koorey also took issue with Councillors' concerns about cycleways not being 'safe'.

"It's a poor term to use; nothing can be 100% 'safe'," said Mr Koorey. "However we can make cycling 'safer' by various means, including on-road cycle lanes where appropriate."

Spokes was now looking forward to working with the Council to look at additional options for promoting and increasing cycling in the city.

At a deputation to Council last month, Spokes presented a "Top 10" of initiatives for boosting cycling in the city. They included lower urban speed limits, the development of sustainable travel plans for organisations, and more road user education and enforcement.

"We applaud the Council for finally seeing sense on this issue", said Mr Koorey. "We accept however Councillors' concerns about the progress being made in the cycling strategy. Now we want to help them see what could be achieved."

ENDS

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