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Pro-cycling MPs face up to hard decisions

Pro-cycling MPs face up to hard decisions

The Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) announced today that about a third (34%) of MPs in Parliament are pro-cycling.

CAN spokes person Stephen McKernon says, "for the hard economic times to come we are fortunate to have numerous MPs and Ministers who understand the benefits of cycling. Hard times call for decision-makers with vision and courage, who understand that spending small amounts on cycling quickly creates huge paybacks in health, economics, transport and community well-being.”

McKernon comments “cycling grows more rapidly during times of recession, as it has in recent years. Cycling is cheap, fast, safe, responsible, healthy and eco-friendly. It is ideal for the huge volume of short trips people make, such as for commuting, shopping and socialising. Demand for better cycling facilities is growing as a result. Strong support for cycling in Parliament is very timely.”

“Over a quarter of National MPs are pro-cycling, as well as all Maori and United Future MPs. As a result about a third of MPs in the coalition government are pro-cycling, and about a quarter of the Ministers in the new Cabinet are as well."

“CAN realises MPs follow party policy when voting. We note United Future, Maori, Progressive, Green and Labour favour increased provision for cycling. In terms of policy, National and Act are actually the exceptions. We call on the National-led government to increase provision for cycling. This might be through legislation for transport, infrastructure, health, environment, urban planning and local government, to name a few key areas.”

McKernon also notes, "implementation typically depends on the commitment of local authorities to implementing national and regional cycling strategies through their own transport budgeting, plans and projects. We call on local authorities to consider cycling's significant paybacks for their own communities, where on average about a third of people cycle."

CAN surveyed candidates during the Election as part of a campaign to inform parties, candidates and cyclist voters. Candidates were asked if they supported an increase in provision for cycling. Further details can be found at http://can.org.nz/article/pro-cycling-mps.

There are about 1.274 million cyclists in New Zealand (about a third of New Zealanders) and about a quarter of these are of voting age.

ENDS

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