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Invest in cycling as fuel prices rise

27 May 2008

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Invest in cycling as fuel prices rise, say cyclists

The Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) says it has never been more urgent for government and business to invest in cycling.

As petrol crosses the $2 mark more people are looking for alternatives to driving.

Cycling Advocates Network spokesperson Stephen McKernon says the government's "Getting There - on foot, by cycle" strategy is an excellent foundation, but local councils need to shift up a gear.

"We urge councils to meet the demand for safe and convenient cycling by developing cycling plans, and investing in cycle lanes, traffic reduction, bike parking, cycle training, driver education, and safety campaigns."

Mr McKernon says business can play a part too.

"Some workplaces provide secure bike parking, fleet bikes, and changing facilities for staff. These are great ways of encouraging people who bike."

Councils can also work with business and schools to develop safe routes to work and schools.

Cycling costs 7 cents a kilometre compared to about 60 cents for a car. Cycling provides exercise that helps keeps people fit, healthy and happy, so reducing costs to the health system. Cycling also decreases pollution and congestion, both of which cost New Zealand over a billion dollars each per year

Mr McKernon says rising fuel prices are driving people out of their cars - and they are rediscovering the convenience and fun of cycling.

"New Zealanders love cycling. New bikes outsell new cars, and there are more than a million people already riding for recreation, fitness and pleasure."

"Many would like to use their bikes to get to work, school or the shops, but are deterred by traffic or perceptions of safety."

"With high fuel prices here to stay we need to ensure cycling is a viable choice."

ENDS

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