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Councils Urged to get on their Bikes

Councils Urged to get on their Bikes

The Green Party is urging local councils and community groups to get on their bikes and think "green" for a solution to ever-increasing transport woes.

MP Mike Ward said local bodies should follow the lead of Palmerston North and Nelson in promoting the Green Bike scheme, giving the public free access to a fleet of bicycles.

The Nelson Green Bike Trust announced today it would launch 200 green bikes onto Nelson streets in March, following a $10,000 donation from the Greenpeace Warrior Fund.

"This is a great example of the community taking action over an obvious problem, doing it themselves and coming up with a great solution," said Mr Ward.

Mr Ward, himself a cyclist and multi sports athlete, said that replacing even 10 per cent of our journeys with cycling or walking would help curb the growth in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"Many people think riding and walking take too much time, especially before and after work, but think of how many times a bike merrily scoots past while you're stuck in rush hour traffic.

"Councils should take note especially, and think of how they can benefit the transport needs of their citizens beyond constructing more roads, which has been proven time and time again to do nothing but encourage more cars, more congestion and more pollution."

Mr Ward added the scheme would partner Nelson's expanding cycleway project, offering safety for cyclists as they tackle the city's road system.

The scheme involves a fleet of donated bikes from the community and surplus police auctions, maintained to safety standards and painted bright green.

Anyone can use a bike free of charge from numerous pick-up points, with the expectation it is returned. Of Palmerston North's fleet of 500 Green Bikes, only about 20 are lost to vandalism each year.

"What better way to use old bikes than contributing to less pollution, greater fitness, and a scheme the community can enjoy," said Mr Ward.

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