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Swain: Draft Walking and Cycling Strategy Released

Paul Swain: Draft Walking and Cycling Strategy Released for Consultation

Draft Walking and Cycling Strategy Released for Consultation

The Transport Minister Paul Swain is inviting submissions on a strategy to encourage more people to cycle or walk more often.

"The document, titled "Getting there - on foot, by cycle" is the government's draft strategy for walking and cycling, and is a first for New Zealand," says Mr Swain.

"Not all journeys can be made on foot or by cycle, but there is scope for many of us to walk and cycle more."

Around 30 per cent of motor vehicle trips are for distances of less than two kilometres.

"New Zealanders undertake more than a billion trips a year on foot, and at least 100 million by cycle, yet many would not consider them as mainstream modes of transport."

"We are becoming more and more focused on motor vehicles to meet our day to day travel needs - for short journeys as well as long."

"Increasing the amount of walking and cycling people do as part of their transport mix will improve the nation's health, contribute to cleaner air, and help lessen congestion on our streets," says Mr Swain.

Last year $3.6 million was allocated by Transfund to walking and cycling initiatives, and $3.8 million was allocated this financial year.

The funds have been used to develop local walking and cycling strategies, as well as infrastructure like cycle lanes and cycle ways, and safety initiatives like the walking school buses for students.

The strategy seeks submissions on future development of these projects, with examples including more pedestrian crossings, cycle parking facilities, better street lighting and rest benches for pedestrians, and working with transport operators to make it easier to take cycles on planes, trains, buses or ferries.

Submissions on the draft strategy close on 19 December, 2003.

Copies of "Getting there - on foot, by cycle", a submission guide and information on regional consultation workshops is available:

On the Ministry of Transport website at www.transport.govt.nz; By sending an email to walkcyclestrategy@transport.govt.nz; By calling the Ministry of Transport on 04 498 0649.

October 8 is 'International Walk to School Day', and the 2003 New Zealand Cycling Conference is being held in North Shore City, Auckland on 10 -11 October.

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