Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Greater investment in cycling has economic benefits

Greater investment in cycling has economic benefits, says UC expert


Click for big version.

Professor Simon Kingham

January 17, 2014

A University of Canterbury (UC) urban transport expert believes the Government and local authorities should invest more money into cycling because of the economic benefits.

UC Professor Simon Kingham says investing in cycling shows significant benefit cost ratios. He says some of the current motorways have substantially lower benefit cost ratios.

``There is significant evidence showing people who cycle to shops spend more money. The main beneficiaries are non-cyclists as it is gives them more choices, in not having to drive but having the option of biking. Cycling reduces congestion as some people will shift to biking, thus freeing up roads.

``Cycling also improves the personal health of new cyclists and helps improve the overall population health. Latest census figures show commuting rates have fallen from 5.7 percent of the population in 1986 to 2.9 percent last year.

``There evidence is clear. Make people feel safe on bikes and people will use them. People want to get on bikes: it just needs to be safe enough. Most cycle infrastructure is cheap to put in. The rebuild of Christchurch is a golden opportunity to rebuild as cheap as possible while roads and drains are being repaired.’’

Professor Kingham made the comments following a number of cycling accidents over summer so far.
Auckland’s biggest problem for commuting cyclists is the high traffic volume coupled with inadequate cycle infrastructure, which makes potential cyclists feel unsafe.

``New Zealand has not made enough money available to take commuter cycling seriously. There has been little investment in cycling over recent times as governments have become car and motorway focused.

``Painted white lines are just not safe acceptable for the cycling community. Research carried out at UC shows that fear of traffic is the biggest barrier to people cycling. The solution is to provide physical separation from traffic through protected cycle lanes where cyclists are physically separated from traffic.

``Christchurch historically does not have more than its share of fatalities than other areas although last year was a bad year for accidents. However, in recent years there have been a growing number of accidents.

``This is largely due to the fact that of the bigger cities in New Zealand, Christchurch has by far the highest rates of cycling. This is due to climate, topography and some historical culture of cycling.

``Only time will tell if Christchurch is going to seriously embrace cycling in the rebuild. The CERA plans for the central city should encourage people to cycle and the Christchurch City Council’s $70 million plans for a set of new cycleways are a good start to get people travelling around and into the city. This needs to be the start. Investing in cycling is really good value.

``An average of more than 300 cyclists require hospital treatment annually and about 10 cyclists die as a result of crashes. It is never acceptable, but some injuries and fatalities are inevitable.’’

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news