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

TV3 Videos: Key's Flip-Flop Over Whale Oil Texts | Slater
Reaction: Greens | More
Dim-Post Link: The Very Odd Slightly Left Of Centre

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel.

Ludicrously, the public has been given exactly one day to make submissions on these major infringements of their civil liberties. Despite Finlayson’s misleading signals on RNZ that these are only stopgaps until next year’s full review of our security laws, the measures in question will not, in fact, expire until 2018.

Why the insane rush? Good question. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news