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

 


Long Term Benefits of Cycling Investment

Long Term Benefits of Cycling Investment

Cycling investment has long term health benefits for Auckland, according to a recent study.

The research is a world first in systematically exploring the future effects of realistic policy options to increase cycling.

The study, just published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives demonstrates the clear long term benefits to Auckland’s health of making the right kind of investment for cycling.

The research, undertaken at the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health, is the culmination of a four year project funded by the Health Research Council and NZTA to understand commuting and health in Auckland.

The work brought together international evidence about cycling to work and its positive and negative effects on health, household costs and the environment.

“We know already that shifting to walking and cycling for the trip to work can create a lot of benefits for health and the economy, as well as making for a fairer society,” says lead author Dr Alex Macmillan. “We also know that in cities like Auckland, where motor vehicles dominate, fear of traffic numbers and speeds is uppermost in preventing people from taking up cycling.

Dr Macmillian says researchers were interested in uncovering the complex factors shaping trends over time in cycle commuting. “We wanted to use this understanding to find the best policy options for Auckland and other similar cities where cycling levels are very low”.

The authors compared a range of options for turning around the declining trend in cycling to work and achieving the city’s strategic goals. They found that the best kinds of policies involve investing in specific road changes that effectively improve cycling safety while also helping a wide range of people feel safe while riding.

“Keeping cyclists visible to drivers is also vital for safety and attracting new people to cycling for transport,” says Dr Macmillan.

“We found that for main roads, investing in high quality on-road lanes with physical barriers, along with proven intersection changes, were the most effective at attracting new cyclists and keeping them safe. On the other hand, re-creating local streets as places for shared walking, cycling and driving at low speeds were also helpful”, he says.

Effects on road traffic injury, reduced emissions, the gains in health resulting from exercise and savings from lower fuel bills were all weighed up against the costs of road improvements.
By far the largest benefits come from reducing deaths related to lack of exercise – a spend of $600 million on the right kind of cycling infrastructure yields savings from increased exercise in the tens of billions of dollars.

“This is the first comprehensive assessment of future costs and benefits to society of specific active transport policies,” says Dr Macmillan. “It demonstrates that, far from being expensive, high quality changes to main roads and local streets across the region are extremely cost effective, bringing more than $20 in benefit to society for every dollar spent over the next 40 years”, he says.

“This is in stark contrast to typical benefit cost comparisons for other kinds of large scale transport investment. For example, the Roads of National Significance have been variously reported as having benefit to cost ratios of 0.1 to 5 (in other words, returning between 10c and $5 for every dollar spent).”

Insights from the research have relevance to other New Zealand and international cities that are considering strategic investment in cycling.

Macmillan A, Connor J, Witten K, Kearns R, Rees D, Woodward A. ‘The Societal Costs and Benefits of Commuter Bicycling: Simulating the Effects of Specific Policies Using System Dynamics Modeling’, Environmental Health Perspectives 2014.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news