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Cyclists Welcome Shift in Transport Policy


Cyclists Welcome Shift in Transport Policy

The Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) welcomes the New Zealand Transport Strategy and is pleased to see the emphasis on integrating the different transport modes.

"Cycling has been left off the map for too long," said CAN chairperson Jane Dawson. "It is great to finally see an official document which recognises that motor vehicles are not the only users of roading space."

"It is also pleasing to see a recognition that promoting cycling can improve safety for everyone and improve the health of the nation, and that cycle tourism has a role in regional development."

The New Zealand Transport Strategy says that transport policy will ensure that the needs of cyclists are catered for, and that walking and cycling will be promoted for short trips. However, the Cycling Advocates' Network is disappointed that the Strategy does not contain obvious implementation mechanisms.

"Many of the ideas in the New Zealand Transport Strategy rely on further work to show how they will be implemented, and it is hard to be enthusiastic when we don't know what real commitments will be made by the Government", said Ms Dawson.

"This document reads like a nice list of things that could happen, but it is not obvious exactly how future transport decisions will work towards energy efficiency and climate change policy, for example."

"We would like to see an indication of how social, environmental and health-related costs will be incorporated into decision-making about appropriate congestion relief measures. Unless local authorities and Transit NZ are given a clear set of priorities to work with, we don't expect to see much change from the status quo."

"The reality is that it isn't possible to build a separate network for cyclists in most places, so the existing transport system needs to be adjusted to include them. The acid test for us will be whether more people are using their bikes to get around in a few years time."

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