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

AMA: Scoop's 'Invisible Paywall'

Operation Chrysalis: The Final Countdown - Thanks & There's Still Time To Pledge

Phew! We are now counting down the hours to the end of this crowd-funding campaign at 11pm on Sunday. Thankyou to all those Scoop readers and supporters who have pledged already. You have been awesome. But this is not over yet. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news