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Save money, save time, bike to work!

Save money, save time, bike to work!

If just ten percent of New Zealanders who currently drive to work cycled instead it would save around $55 million in petrol and reduce vehicle emissions. Commuters who cycle instead of driving also save money on parking, avoid the frustration of being stuck in traffic and may be able to get rid of the family's second car.

Heather Staley, Chief Executive of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) said countries that have had a long-term commitment to supporting cycling are achieving the ten percent savings.

"EECA has been a supporter of the NZ Cycling Strategy Foundation Project from its inception. The report released today as part of Bike Week strongly recommends the development and implementation of a national cycling strategy. The first draft of the Ministry of Transport's walking and cycling strategy is due for release later this year. Making a long-term commitment to supporting cycling is one way we can make a dent in transport energy use," Ms Staley said.

EECA is also a sponsor of the Bike Wise Business Battle - providing the prize for the company that has the highest proportion of staff commuting by bicycle.

"More and more organisations are encouraging their staff to use alternative modes of transport for work-related travel. Travel plans help an organisation to provide travel choices that will suit their staff. In the case of cycling, organisations may be prompted to provide a space where cycles can be securely parked and somewhere for cyclists to change and leave their cycling gear. In the UK, organisations that have a travel plan are seeing a 10-25 percent move away from drive alone commuting by their staff.

"Of course for some New Zealanders, biking to work just isn't practical but they may be able to bike at other times. One third of all car trips in New Zealand are for less than two kilometres. Cycling to the dairy, the fish and chip shop, or to meet your kids after school are ways you can reduce petrol use and save money.

"With petrol prices on the increase, every trip saved makes a difference to your wallet," Ms Staley said.

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